Lung function in children born after foetal growth restriction and very preterm birth

Acta Paediatr. 2012 Jan;101(1):48-54. doi: 10.1111/j.1651-2227.2011.02435.x. Epub 2011 Aug 29.


Aims: To assess lung function at early school age in children delivered at very early gestation owing to intrauterine growth restriction and abnormal foetal blood flow (IUGR).

Methods: Spirometry was performed at median age 8.4 (range 6.5-10.7) years in 31 children born preterm with IUGR (PT-IUGR) with a median (range) birth weight (BW) of 650 (395-976) g and median (range) gestational age 27 (24-29) weeks. Control groups were matched for gender and age and had BW appropriate for gestational age (AGA); 31 children born preterm (PT-AGA) with BW of 1010 (660-1790) g matched for gestational age at birth, and 31 children born at term (T-AGA) with BW of 3530 (3000-4390) g.

Results: The PT-IUGR group had lower mean (SD) values of z-scores for FEV(1), FEV(1)/FVC and forced mid-expiratory flow rate (FEF(25-75%)) compared to the T-AGA group, p = 0.003, p = 0.032 and p < 0.001, respectively, but did not differ from the PT-AGA group. PT-IUGR children delivered at ≥26 gestational weeks (GW) had lower FEF(25-75%) than PT-AGA children of corresponding GA, p = 0.014.

Conclusion: Lung function was reduced in the PT-IUGR group at early school age compared to controls born at term. The influence of IUGR on later lung function was only apparent in children born preterm after 26 GW.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Case-Control Studies
  • Child
  • Female
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / epidemiology
  • Fetal Growth Retardation / physiopathology*
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / epidemiology
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Lung / physiopathology*
  • Male
  • Spirometry