Cardiorespiratory events in preterm infants: etiology and monitoring technologies

J Perinatol. 2016 Mar;36(3):165-71. doi: 10.1038/jp.2015.164. Epub 2015 Nov 19.


Every year, an estimated 15 million infants are born prematurely (<37 weeks gestation) with premature birth rates ranging from 5 to 18% across 184 countries. Although there are a multitude of reasons for this high rate of preterm birth, once birth occurs, a major challenge of infant care includes the stabilization of respiration and oxygenation. Clinical care of this vulnerable infant population continues to improve, yet there are major areas that have yet to be resolved including the identification of optimal respiratory support modalities and oxygen saturation targets, and reduction of associated short- and long-term morbidities. As intermittent hypoxemia is a consequence of immature respiratory control and resultant apnea superimposed upon an immature lung, improvements in clinical care must include a thorough knowledge of premature lung development and pathophysiology that is unique to premature birth. In Part 1 of a two-part review, we summarize early lung development and diagnostic methods for cardiorespiratory monitoring.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apnea / diagnosis
  • Apnea / physiopathology
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Bradycardia / diagnosis
  • Bradycardia / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia / diagnosis
  • Hypoxia / physiopathology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / etiology
  • Lung / growth & development*
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth / epidemiology*
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory Function Tests