Objective: To compare growth and body composition in preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) with normal healthy term infants during the first year of life.
Design: Twenty nine preterm infants with BPD (mean (SD) gestational age 27.1 (1.6) weeks; birth weight 852 (173) g) were followed prospectively. Anthropometry and body composition determined by total body electrical conductivity were measured and compared with those of healthy term infants at the same post-term age.
Results: In infants with BPD, the mean weight standard deviation scores (SD scores) 6 weeks after term were significantly lower (−1.44 and −2.68, boys and girls respectively) than in healthy term infants of the same age and did not improve during the first year. The mean length SD score was significantly lower in infants with BPD 6 weeks after term than in healthy term infants of the same age, and, although it improved significantly during the first year, the mean length SD score in girls with BPD was significantly below 0 12 months after term. In infants with BPD, the mean free fat mass (FFM) SD score and the mean total body fat (TBF) SD score at 6 weeks post-term age were significantly below 0. The mean FFM SD scores (−1.01 and −2.56, boys and girls respectively) and the mean TBF SD scores (−1.14 and −2.40, boys and girls respectively) 12 months after term were significantly lower than in healthy term infants of the same age.
Conclusions: Preterm infants with BPD have impaired growth, with a deficit in TBF and FFM already 6 weeks after term; FFM and TBF remain low compared with healthy term infants during the first year of life. Nutritional intervention studies in infants with BPD are needed to evaluate if nutrition is the major determinant of growth and body composition or if this pattern of growth in preterm infants with BPD is the result of disturbed endocrine control.
- bronchopulmonary dysplasia
- body composition
- BPD, bronchopulmonary dysplasia
- TOBEC, total body electric conductivity
- FFM, fat free mass
- TBF, total body fat
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