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Eur Respir J. 1997 Apr;10(4):886-90.

Ureaplasma urealyticum colonization, prematurity and bronchopulmonary dysplasia.

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  • 1Beatrix Children's Hospital, University Hospital Groningen, The Netherlands.


The aim of the present study was to determine the association between the presence of Ureaplasma urealyticum in endotracheal aspirates and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). In addition, a review of similar studies from the English literature is presented. During the period February 1990 until March 1991, 108 mechanically-ventilated infants were included in a prospective study. Endotracheal aspirates were cultured for U. urealyticum. Birth weight, gestational age and development of BPD was recorded. Cultures were positive in 23 infants, resulting in a 21% colonization. The infants with positive cultures had a significantly lower gestational age (mean 28.9 vs 31.5 weeks; range 25-40 vs 25-42 weeks; p=0.0014). A positive U. urealyticum culture was not associated with a low birth weight (mean 1,390 vs 1,690 g; range 675-4,090 vs 700-3,600 g; p=0.0712). A positive U. urealyticum culture was significantly associated with BPD (p=0.0373). However, after correction for gestational age by logistic regression analysis, BPD failed to correlate with the presence of positive U. urealyticum cultures. A MEDLINE search of the English language literature was performed to identify all studies having the association of U. urealyticum colonization and BPD. Fourteen controlled studies were found. Five studies found no significant association between U. urealyticum colonization and BPD. In two studies, after correction for gestational age, the association between U. urealyticum colonization and BPD did not remain significant. In five studies with a significant association between U. urealyticum colonization and BPD, no correction for gestational age had taken place. In conclusion, U. urealyticum colonization is not associated with the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. U. urealyticum is often associated with gestational age and/or low birth weight; to investigate the association between U. urealyticum and bronchopulmonary dysplasia correction for both parameters should be made.

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