Objective: To evaluate the impact of human milk and different neonatal variables on tidal breathing flow-volume loop (TBFVL) parameters within three months’ corrected age (CA) in infants born ≤32 wks or weighing <1500 g.
Methods: We retrospectively studied 121 infants with gestational age (GA) ≤ 32 weeks or birth weight (BW) <1500 gr who had lung function assessment within three months’ CA by TBFVL analysis between June 2009 and April 2018. We investigated the impact of GA, gender, being Small for GA (SGA), sepsis, days of mechanical ventilation (MV) and human milk feeding (HMF) on later respiratory function, both in the entire group and according to BW ( ≤1000 g and >1000 g).
Results: The mean(SD) z-score for tidal volume (Vt) and time to peak expiratory flow to expiratory time (tPTEF/tE) were respectively -4.3 (2.5) and -0.8 (2.0) for the overall population with no significant differences between infants <1000 g or ≥1000 g. The mean(SD) Vt standardized for body weight was 6.2(2.0) ml/kg. Being female was associated with better Vt/Kg, whereas longer MV or being born SGA were associated with worst tPTEF/tE. For infants with BW < 1000 gr, tPTEF/tE was positively associated with HMF.
Conclusion: An early TBFVL assessment within three months’ CA already reveals lung function alteration in preterm infants. Being female is associated with better Vt/Kg, while longer duration of MV or being born SGA negatively affect tPTEF/tE. The positive association between HMF and better tPTEF/tE in infants with BW <1000 g has emerged, which deserves further investigation