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Neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm neonates receiving rescue inhaled nitric oxide in the first week of age: a cohort study


Objective To assess the neurodevelopmental outcomes of preterm neonates who received inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) in the first week of age for hypoxaemic respiratory failure (HRF).

Methods In this retrospective cohort study, we included neonates born at <29 weeks gestational age (GA) between January 2010 and December 2018 who had a neurodevelopmental assessment at 18–24 months corrected age (CA) at one of the Canadian Neonatal Follow-Up Network clinics. The primary outcome was neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI). We performed propensity score-matched analysis to compare the outcomes of those who received and did not receive iNO.

Results Of the 5612 eligible neonates, 460 (8.2%) received iNO in the first week of age. Maternal age, receipt of antenatal corticosteroids, GA and birth weight were lower in the iNO group compared with the no-iNO group. Neonates in the iNO group had higher illness severity scores and higher rates of preterm prolonged rupture of membranes and were small for GA. Severe brain injury, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and mortality were higher in the iNO group. Of the 4889 survivors, 3754 (77%) neonates had follow-up data at 18–24 months CA. After propensity score matching, surviving infants who received rescue iNO were not associated with higher odds of NDI (adjusted OR 1.34; 95% CI 0.85 to 2.12).

Conclusions In preterm neonates <29 weeks GA with HRF, rescue iNO use was not associated with worse neurodevelopmental outcomes among survivors who were assessed at 18–24 months CA.

  • intensive care units, neonatal
  • neonatology
  • paediatrics
  • infant development

Data availability statement

Data are available upon reasonable request.

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