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Late morbidity during childhood and adolescence in previously premature neonates after patent ductus arteriosus closure.
The health status of previously premature neonates after closure of a patent ductus arteriosus (PDA) was analyzed in childhood and adolescence. Physician questionnaires were used to study 180 hospital survivors among 210 consecutive premature neonates who underwent PDA closure between 1985 and 2005. Complete follow-up data were obtained for 129 patients (72%). During a median follow-up period of 7 years (range, 2-22 years), three late deaths (2.3%) had occurred. Only 45% of the patients were considered healthy. Morbidity included developmental delay (41.1%), pulmonary illness (12.4%), neurologic impairment (14.7%), hearing impairment (3.9%), gastrointestinal disease (3.1%), and thoracic deformity (1.2%). None of the adverse variables during the neonatal period (intraventricular hemorrhage, bradycardia apnea syndrome, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, pulmonary bleeding, hyaline membrane disease, artificial respiration time [continuous positive airway pressure + intubation], or necrotizing enterocolitis) statistically predicted respective system morbidity at the follow-up evaluation. Hyaline membrane disease (odds ratio, 2.5; p = 0.026) and longer hospitalization time (odds ratio, 1.2 days per 10 hospitalization days; p = 0.032) in the newborn period were significant predictors of an unhealthy outcome at the last follow-up evaluation. Survival until childhood after closure of a hemodynamically significant PDA in premature neonates is satisfactory. However, physical and neurodevelopmental co-morbidity persist for half of the patients, perhaps as a sequela of prematurity unrelated to ductus closure.
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