Objective: To investigate the outcome of school-age children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in terms of nutrition, pulmonary function, and intelligence, and to compare the results with a preterm cohort matched for gestational age and birth weight, and with a term control group.
Setting: Follow-up clinic at level III neonatal intensive care unit, university-affiliated hospital, Children's Hospital.
Subjects: Twelve children who had BPD as infants and 2 control groups of 12 children each.
Main outcome variables: Anthropometric measurements, dietary intake, resting energy expenditure, pulmonary function, body composition measurements by dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, and Weschler intelligence test scores.
Results: Children with BPD had decreased forced expiratory volume at 1 second, decreased forced expiratory flow between 25% and 75% of vital capacity, and decreased maximal expiratory flow velocity at 50% of vital capacity compared with age-matched normal inborn subjects (p = 0.025, p = 0.005, and p = 0.0013, respectively). Both children with BPD and matched preterm control children were shorter than infants in the term control group (p = 0.018). There were no significant differences in the other anthropometric parameters studied. The groups did not differ in resting energy expenditure. Lean body mass was lower in the BPD group compared with the term control groups (p = 0.017). Bone mineral content was lower in the BPD group compared with both the preterm and term control infants (p = 0.050 and p = 0.059, respectively). The mean performance intelligence quotient (IQ) and full-scale IQ scores in the BPD group were lower than in the term control group (p = 0.011 and p = 0.029, respectively). The proportion of children with borderline or intellectually deficient scores was significantly higher in the preterm group compared with the term group for verbal, performance, and full-scale IQ scales (p = 0.046, p = 0.018, and p = 0.048 respectively). The proportion of children with BPD who had borderline or deficient performance IQ scores was higher than for the term group (p = 0.046).
Conclusions: The lower height and intelligence scores in children with BPD may be related to prematurity and perinatal events rather than pulmonary disease. Subclinical pulmonary dysfunction in children with BPD persists at school age. The lower amount of lean body mass and possible decrease in bone mineral content in children with BPD may be related to their smaller size.