Growth Outcomes of Preterm Infants Exposed to Different Oxygen Saturation Target Ranges from Birth

J Pediatr. 2016 Sep;176:62-68.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2016.05.070. Epub 2016 Jun 22.


Objective: To test whether infants randomized to a lower oxygen saturation (peripheral capillary oxygen saturation [SpO2]) target range while on supplemental oxygen from birth will have better growth velocity from birth to 36 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA) and less growth failure at 36 weeks PMA and 18-22 months corrected age.

Study design: We evaluated a subgroup of 810 preterm infants from the Surfactant, Positive Pressure, and Oxygenation Randomized Trial, randomized at birth to lower (85%-89%, n = 402, PMA 26 ± 1 weeks, birth weight 839 ± 186 g) or higher (91%-95%, n = 408, PMA 26 ± 1 weeks, birth weight 840 ± 191 g) SpO2 target ranges. Anthropometric measures were obtained at birth, postnatal days 7, 14, 21, and 28; then at 32 and 36 weeks PMA; and 18-22 months corrected age. Growth velocities were estimated with the exponential method and analyzed with linear mixed models. Poor growth outcome, defined as weight <10th percentile at 36 weeks PMA and 18-22 months corrected age, was compared across the 2 treatment groups by the use of robust Poisson regression.

Results: Growth outcomes including growth at 36 weeks PMA and 18-22 months corrected age, as well as growth velocity were similar in the lower and higher SpO2 target groups.

Conclusion: Targeting different oxygen saturation ranges between 85% and 95% from birth did not impact growth velocity or reduce growth failure in preterm infants.

Keywords: ELBW growth; oxygen saturation target.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Growth*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Male
  • Oximetry*
  • Oxygen / administration & dosage
  • Oxygen / metabolism*
  • Respiration, Artificial*


  • Oxygen