Postmenstrual age at discharge in premature infants with and without ventilatory pattern instability

Jeffery Hoover, Jennifer Wambach, Akshaya Vachharajani, Barbara Warner, John L. Carroll, James S. Kemp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Rationale: To determine if ventilatory pattern instability, manifested as periodic breathing (PB) during physiologic challenge testing, affects postmenstrual age (PMA) at discharge. Methods: Eighty infants underwent challenge testing at 36 weeks PMA. Infants breathing supplemental O2 received a room air challenge (RAC, N = 51); those breathing ambient air underwent a hypoxic challenge test (HCT, N = 29). Infants were assigned one of four ventilatory control phenotypes based on the presence or absence of PB during their test, and if they passed or failed because of hypoxemia during the challenge test. Results: There were no clinical or demographic differences between groups. Infants who passed their challenge testing were, on average, discharged 1.6 weeks sooner than those who failed. The groups of ventilatory control phenotypes differed in PMA at discharge (p = 0.0020), but those with PB were younger by PMA at discharge. Conclusions: Ventilatory pattern instability did not prolong time to discharge. Passing either challenge was associated with earlier discharge, suggesting these tests might identify infants who can have nasal cannula support removed and be safely discharged sooner. Most of the infants who failed their challenge tests with PB were receiving nasal cannula support. Nasal cannula support may be not only treating hypoxemia due to bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), but also mitigating their ventilatory pattern instability.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)157-162
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Perinatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


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