Objective: Characteristics of preterm infants who develop pulmonary hypertension (PHT) and their response to inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) are not well described. Our objective was to identify risk factors for PHT in infants <37 weeks gestational age (GA) and to evaluate their response to iNO. Study design: A retrospective chart review was conducted in infants <37 weeks GA born from July/2000 to October/2005 who had an echocardiographic diagnosis of PHT in the first 4 weeks of life. A comparison non-PHT group was generated matched for GA and birth date. Data on prenatal and postnatal characteristics, response to iNO and mortality were collected. Results: Low Apgar scores, preterm premature rupture of membranes, oligohydramnios, pulmonary hypoplasia and sepsis were independently predictive of PHT. Mortality was significantly higher in the PHT group (26.2% versus 4.1%; P<0.0001) compared to the control group. Low birth weight, severe intraventricular hemorrhage and male sex were significantly associated with death in infants with PHT. Thirty-seven percent (23/61) of infants with PHT were treated with inhaled NO. Infants <29-week GA had poor response to iNO and the response to iNO increased with GA (P<0.02). Conclusions: Low Apgar scores, oligohydramnios and pulmonary hypoplasia are associated with the development of PHT in premature infants. The percentage of infants responding to iNO increases with advancing GA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Obstetrics and Gynecology