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Gas Trapping Linked to Wheezing Among Preemies

Study of 1-year-olds suggests the cause could be small-airways abnormalities

FRIDAY, Sept. 28 (HealthDay News) -- In very prematurely born infants, wheezing at age 1 is associated with gas trapping and could be due to abnormalities of the small airways, according to the results of a study published in the September issue of the Archives of Disease in Childhood.

Anne Greenough, M.D., of King's College Hospital in London, U.K., and colleagues measured lung function at age 1 in 111 infants who had a mean gestational age of 26.3 weeks. To document wheeze, they asked parents to fill out diary cards and respiratory questionnaires.

Compared with the 51 infants without wheeze, the researchers found that the 60 infants who wheezed had a significantly lower mean functional residual capacity and higher mean airways resistance breathing parameters. Their regression analysis also showed that wheeze was significantly associated with gestational age, length at assessment, family history of atopy and a low functional to total lung volume.

"As it is not certain that such infants would respond to bronchodilator therapy, appropriately designed studies are required to determine whether bronchodilator and/or prophylactic anti-asthma therapy have benefits in wheezy, very prematurely born infants," the authors conclude.

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