Objective: To determine the survival and evolution of pulmonary hypertension (PH) associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in extremely premature born infants beyond 36 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA).
Design: A single-centre retrospective cohort study from a university hospital.
Patients: Extremely preterm (gestational age <30 weeks and/or birth weight <1000 g) infants, born between 2012 and 2017, in the University Medical Center Groningen with confirmed PH at/beyond 36 weeks PMA.
Main outcome measures: Survival, mortality rate and PH resolution. Patient characteristics, treatment, presence and evolution of PH were collected from patient charts.
Results: Twenty-eight infants were included. All had BPD, while 23 (82%) had severe BPD and 11 infants (39%) died. Survival rates at 1, 3 and 7 months from 36 weeks PMA were 89%, 70% and 58%, respectively. In 16 of the 17 surviving infants, PH resolved over time, with a resolution rate at 1 and 2 years corrected age of 47% and 79%, respectively. At 2.5 years corrected age, the resolution rate was 94%.
Conclusions: These extremely preterm born infants with PH-BPD had a survival rate of 58% at 6 months corrected age. Suprasystemic pulmonary artery pressure was associated with poor outcome. In the current study, infants surviving beyond the corrected age of 6 months showed excellent survival and resolution of PH in almost all cases. Prospective follow-up studies should investigate whether resolution of PH in these infants can be improved by multi-modal therapies, including respiratory, nutritional and cardiovascular treatments.