Pediatr Int 2012 Jun 28;54(3):370-4. Epub 2012 Mar 28.
Department of Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Nara Prefectural Hospital, Nara, Japan.
Background: The aim of this study was to clarify the timing of injuries in utero that cause respiratory inhibition after crying (RIAC). We evaluated infants with cranial ultrasound abnormalities diagnosed during hospitalization.
Methods: We retrospectively examined the medical records of preterm infants who were treated in the neonatal intensive care unit at Nara Prefectural Hospital in Nara, Japan from January 2006 through December 2010. Inclusion criterion was gestational age less than 34 weeks. We evaluated the perinatal factors and cranial ultrasound abnormalities associated with RIAC, feeding hypoxemia, and prolonged apnea. We also evaluated the timing of appearance of cranial ultrasound abnormalities.
Results: A total of 125 infants were examined. Mean gestational age was 30.6 ± 2.4 weeks and mean birthweight was 1465 ± 454 g. The numbers of infants who showed RIAC, feeding hypoxemia, and prolonged apnea were 44, 48, and 63, respectively. Among 91 infants who showed cranial ultrasound abnormalities, 67 had increased echogenicity in the ganglionic eminence (GE). There was a significant correlation between increased echogenicity and RIAC (P < 0.001). Of the infants who showed increased echogenicity in the GE, 19 had this finding during the course of hospitalization. In these 19 infants, however, gestational age of those with RIAC was less than 31 weeks.
Conclusion: We speculate that the timing of intrauterine injury resulting in RIAC in infants is less than 31 gestational weeks.