Dysphonia at 12 months corrected age in very low-birth-weight-born children

Eur J Pediatr. 2011 Apr;170(4):469-75. doi: 10.1007/s00431-010-1311-7. Epub 2010 Oct 7.


Preterm newborn infants may suffer laryngeal injuries after multiple intubations and long-term mechanical ventilation. Former studies have focused on acute laryngeal injuries diagnosed by endoscopy, performed within the neonatal period. This retrospective case-control study aims to investigate the prevalence and clinical risk factors for voice disorders in former very low-birth-weight (< 1,500 g) infants (VLBW) at 1-year follow-up examinations. We screened former VLBW infants for presence of dysphonia at the corrected age of 1 year and compared cases with unaffected infants matched by birth weight and gestational age. Of the 843 former VLBW infants, admitted from January 1998 to May 2006, 18 subjects had persistent dysphonia. All cases had a birth weight below 1,000 g. Surgical ligation of a ductus arteriosus had been performed in ten infants. Duration of ventilation and number of intubations were not different between cases and controls, but a documented difficult intubation was a predictor of subsequent dysphonia. The rate of dysphonia at 1 year of life was 6.6% among formerly ventilated infants with birth weights <1,000 g (extremely low-birth-weight infants). Persistent dysphonia has to be added to the list of specific long-term consequences of extremely immature birth and given attention at follow-up examinations.

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Dysphonia / epidemiology*
  • Dysphonia / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / etiology
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Intubation, Intratracheal / adverse effects
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors