- In preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), postdischarge oxygen therapy might yield minimal growth improvement at 2 years and increase use of resources but results in no differences in neurodevelopment.
Why this matters
- BPD incidence is increasing among extremely preterm infants, and one-fourth are discharged with supplemental oxygen, which carries risks with poorly established benefits.
- Editorial calls the study a “critical service” in terms of forming a basis for prospective trials.
- Growth at 2 years: adjusted mean difference in z-score with supplemental oxygen, 0.11 (95% CI, 0.00-0.22).
- Weight-for-length z-score also suggested improvement with oxygen: adjusted mean difference, 0.13 (95% CI, 0.06-0.20).
- However, oxygen supplementation was tied to increased adjusted relative risk for rehospitalization for respiratory illness: 1.33 (95% CI, 1.16-1.53).
- Neurodevelopment was similar with or without supplemental oxygen.
- Propensity score matching used for 1039 infants discharged with supplemental oxygen paired 1:1 with infants discharged on room air.
- Outcomes: growth, neurodevelopment.
- Funding: NIH.
- Infants with most severe respiratory disease could not be matched and were excluded; results thus might apply only for infants who could be weaned from oxygen supplementation before discharge.