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Aldana-Aguirre JC, Deshpande P, Jain A, Weisz DE. Physiology of Low Blood Pressure During the First Day After Birth Among Extremely Preterm Neonates. J Pediatr. 2021 May 18:S0022-3476(21)00449-2. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2021.05.026. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34019882.

Objective: To investigate the circulatory physiology of hypotension during the first day after birth among stable extremely preterm neonates.

Study design: Case-control study of neonates born at ≤276/7 weeks gestational age with hypotension, defined as mean blood pressure in mmHg less than gestational age in weeks for at least 1 hour during the first 24 hours after birth, who underwent comprehensive echocardiography assessment before commencement of cardiovascular drugs. Neonates with hypotension (n = 14) were matched by gestational age and intensity of respiratory support with normotensive neonates (n = 27) who underwent serial echocardiography during the first day after birth, and relatively contemporaneous echocardiography assessments were used for comparison.

Results: Neonates with hypotension had a higher frequency of patent ductus arteriosus ≥1.5 mm (71% vs 15%; P < .001) and ductal size (median diameter, 1.6 mm [IQR, 1.4-2.1] vs 1.0 mm [IQR, 0-1.3]; P = .002), higher echocardiography indices of left ventricular systolic function (mean shortening fraction, 34 ± 7% vs 26 ± 4%; P < .001; mean longitudinal strain, -16 ± 5% vs -14 ± 3%; P = .04; and mean velocity of circumferential fiber shortening, 1.24 ± 0.35 circ/s vs 1.01 ± 0.28 circ/s; P = .03), lower estimates of left ventricular afterload (mean end-systolic wall stress, 20 ± 7 g/cm2 vs 30 ± 9 g/cm2; P < .001 and mean arterial elastance, 43 ± 19 mmHg/mL vs 60 ± 22 mmHg/mL; P = .01), without significant difference in stress-velocity index z-score (-0.42 ± 1.60 vs -0.88 ± 1.30; P = .33). Neonates with hypotension had higher rates of any degree of intraventricular hemorrhage (71% vs 22%; P = .006).

Conclusions: Low blood pressure in otherwise well extremely low gestational age neonates was associated with low systemic afterload and larger patent ductus arteriosus, but not left ventricular dysfunction.

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