Mechanical ventilation for preterm infants independently contributes to poor neurodevelopmental performance. However, few studies have investigated the association between the duration of mechanical ventilation and the risk for various developmental disorders in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) (<1000. g) infants. Using a large nationwide database, we did a 10-year retrospective follow-up study to explore the effect of mechanical ventilation on the incidence of cerebral palsy (CP), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability (ID), and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in ELBW infants born between 1998 and 2001. Seven hundred twenty-eight ELBW infants without diagnoses of brain insults or focal brain lesions in the initial hospital stay were identified and divided into three groups (days on ventilator: ≦2, 3-14, ≧15 days). After adjusting for demographic and medical factors, the infants in the ≧15 days group had higher risks for CP (adjusted hazard ratio: 2.66; 95% confidence interval: 1.50-4.59; p< 0.001) and ADHD (adjusted hazard ratio: 1.95; 95% confidence interval: 1.02-3.76; p< 0.05), than did infants in the ≦2 days group. The risk for ASD or ID was not significantly different between the three groups. We conclude that mechanical ventilation for ≧15 days increased the risk for CP and ADHD in ELBW infants even without significant neonatal brain damage. Developing a brain-protective respiratory support strategy in response to real-time cerebral hemodynamic and oxygenation changes has the potential to improve neurodevelopmental outcomes in ELBW infants.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology