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"Silent" patent ductus arteriosus and bronchopulmonary dysplasia in low-birthweight twins.

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Department of Pediatrics, Padua University, Italy.


During a screening protocol of early echocardiographic diagnosis (ATL MK 600) and treatment of "silent" PDA in RDS preterms with BW < or = 1.750 kg, clinical data on premature twins were collected, including diagnosis of both PDA and BPD, to investigate whether twin birth influences PDA incidence and BPD development. Out of the 290 RDS preterms evaluated, 96 (33%) showed evidence of PDA, and a total of 79 (27%) developed BPD, 47 (16%) with associated PDA and 32 (11%) without PDA. Out of 238 singletons, 74 (31%) presented "silent" PDA and a total of 75 (31%) developed BPD, 44 (18%) with associated PDA, and 31 (13%) without PDA. In 52 other twins (18% of the total number of babies studied), 22 (42% of this subgroup) presented evidence of "silent" PDA, and 4 (8% of the subgroup), developed BPD, 3 with associated PDA (6% of the subgroup), and 1 without PDA (2% of the subgroup). From these data, it is inferred that that low-birthweight twins are at high risk for PDA hemodynamic complications during RDS, and may benefit from early induced ductal closure. Instead, in RDS twins, BPD was statistically less frequent (at the 99% C.L.) probably because twinning enhances fetal lung maturity, influencing enzymatic and nonenzymatic protective systems of lung defence.

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