Preterm birth alters the maturation of baroreflex sensitivity in sleeping infants

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OBJECTIVE: Impaired blood pressure (BP) control may underpin the increased incidence of the sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) in preterm infants. This study aimed to examine the effects of preterm birth, postnatal age, and sleep state on BP control by measuring baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) across the first 6 months of term-corrected age (CA), when SIDS risk is greatest. METHODS: Preterm (n = 25) and term (n = 31) infants were studied longitudinally at 2 to 4 weeks, 2 to 3 months, and 5 to 6 months CA using daytime polysomnography. BP was recorded during quiet (QS) and active (AS) sleep using a photoplethysmographic cuff placed around the infant s wrist (Finometer [FMS, Finapres Medical Systems, Amsterdam, Netherlands]). BRS (milliseconds/mm Hg) was assessed in 1- to 2-minute epochs using cross-spectral analysis. RESULTS: In preterm infants, postnatal age had no significant effect on BRS within either QS or AS. This was in contrast to the maturational increase in QS observed in term infants. Compared with term infants, BRS of preterm infants was 38 higher at 2 to 4 weeks CA and 29 lower at 5 to 6 months CA during QS (P
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)89 - 96
Number of pages8
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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