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Acta Paediatr. 1996 Nov;85(11):1344-7.

Pulmonary artery pressure in term and preterm neonates.

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Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital of Tartu, Estonia.


Systolic pulmonary artery pressure (PAP) during the first 4 days after birth was determined in 41 healthy term and 46 preterm infants by measuring ductal Doppler flow velocity and systemic arterial pressure (SAP). Among preterm infants, 21 had respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and 25 did not. Sequential indices within 96 h of age were presented respectively. At the ages of 2 and 12 h the ratio between pulmonary and systemic arterial pressure was significantly higher in term than in preterm infants without RDS (p < 0.05). At the age of 24 h, PAP to SAP ratio was similar in all study groups. Between 48 and 72 h, PAP to SAP ratio was significantly higher in preterm infants with RDS than in infants without RDS (p < 0.05). Our findings indicated that: (1) in healthy fullterm infants pulmonary artery pressure fell to subsystemic level during the first 12 h, indicating the critical time in circulatory transition; (2) prematurity did not affect ductal closure times significantly; and (3) RDS was associated with prolonged ductal patency and delayed postnatal circulatory adaptation characterized by pulmonary hypertension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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