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June 2022

Respiratory characteristics during sleep in healthy small-for-gestational age newborn

Author(s): Peirano, P., Christova, E.

Journal/Book: Pediatrics. 1996; 97: 141 North-West Point Blvd, Elk Grove Village, IL 60007-1098. Amer Acad Pediatrics. 554-559.

Abstract: Objective. Small-for-gestational age (SGA) infants born with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) differ from appropriate-for-gestational age (AGA) infants by: a) alterations in a number of neurologic and neurophysiologic characteristics; b) modified heart rate variability during the neonatal period; and c) increased morbidity rates during the first months of life. However, there are no data on the impact of IUGR on respiratory function control at birth. Methods. We studied 57 newborns who were 35 to 36, 37 to 38, and 39 to 41 weeks' conceptional age (CA): 31 were AGA and 26 were SGA. All were clinically and neurologically normal at birth and none exhibited abnormal events during the first year of life. Polygraphic recordings were performed between two meals during the normal postnatal stay in the maternity ward. Results. During both active sleep (AS) and quiet sleep (QS), SGA infants in all CA groups had significantly higher values for the incidence of 2 to 4.9 seconds and 5 to 9.9 seconds central respiratory pauses (RP), the apnea index (AI) [AI = % of nonbreathing time], and the time spent with periodic breathing (PB), as compared with AGA infants. Respiratory frequency was usually similar in SGA and AGA infants. In addition, the trend of age-related respiratory modifications was disturbed in SGA infants, as compared with AGA infants: at 39 to 41 weeks CA, SGA infants had no significant decreases in RP, Al, or PB, and no increase in respiratory frequency. However, between-state differences were similar in both groups. In all AGA and SGA infant groups respiratory frequency seemed to be an individual characteristic: infants who breathed faster during AS breathed faster during QS, and vice-versa. Conclusions. Our data demonstrate significant modifications in the establishment of respiratory rhythm control in SGA infants, whereas the patterns of state-related and subject-dependent breathing characteristics were similar in SGA and AGA infants. We speculate that the dysregulation of respiratory function control maturation observed in healthy SGA infants may be related to subtle brainstem modifications attributable to the decreased blood supply and chronic hypoxia associated with IUGR.

Note: Article L Curzidascalova, Hop Robert Debre, Inserm, Lab Physiol Explorat Fonctionnelles, 48 Bd Robert Debre, F-75019 Paris, France

Keyword(s): sleep states; normal newborn infants; intrauterine growth retardation; small-for-gestational age; breathing; apnea; respiratory frequency; INFANT-DEATH-SYNDROME; INTRAUTERINE GROWTH-RETARDATION; FULL-TERM NEWBORNS; HEART-RATE; BRAIN; MALNUTRITION; PRETERM; STATES; RISK

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