Objective. To compare the incidence of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) and apparent life-threatening event (ALTE) in infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and birth weight-matched control infants in view of the changing pattern of chronic lung disease of prematurity.
Methods. The study population consisted of 78 preterm infants of 26 to 33 weeks gestation who were diagnosed as having BPD and discharged. The 78 control infants were matched with the study infants for birth weight categories. Infants unable to maintain adequate oxygenation without supplemental oxygen when they were feeding well and thriving were discharged on home oxygen. All infants were at least 8 months of age at follow-up and information concerning the occurrence of any ALTE was obtained by direct parent interview.
Results. No infant died during the period of follow-up. Seven (8.9%) of the study group compared with eight (10.5%) of the control infants had an ALTE. Three infants (one study, two control infants) were hospitalized for further investigation. No infant discharged on the home oxygen program had an ALTE.
Conclusions. The data from this study suggest that preterm infants with BPD are not at increased risk from SIDS compared with preterm infants without this condition. This may be related to close monitoring of the infants' oxygenation status and the provision of home oxygen when appropriate, which should eliminate episodes of unrecognized and untreated hypoxemia. Home monitoring for infants with BPD may not be warranted.
- Received July 28, 1993.
- Accepted November 2, 1993.
- Copyright © 1994 by the American Academy of Pediatrics