Objective: To determine the current incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), to investigate the neonatal characteristics of the BPD-population and to evaluate the consequences of the disease on the pulmonary and general development of the patients until the age of two years corrected for gestational age. Design: Retrospective patient-study. The incidence of BPD was cross-sectionally determined in a population of 1061 children admitted to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) of the University Hospital of Groningen. The patients born prior to the age of 33 weeks gestation, in the period from 2003 until 2007 were included. In 98 patients recorded as BPD neonatal complications and respiratory parameters were chosen as outcome variables. The longitudinal design was applied to evaluate the consequences of the disease on respiratory and developmental outcome measures in the first two years of life. The main outcome measures were the presentation of respiratory symptoms and signs, re-hospitalisation and use of medication for respiratory complains. The neurodevelopment, the quality of muscle power, growth and the nutritional status was investigated as well. Results: The incidence of BPD in the NICU-population was 22,5%, while 9,2% of the NICU-population were recorded as BPD-patient. The patients diagnosed with BPD, had a mean birth weight of 961 gram and mean gestational age of 27 4/7 weeks. The presence of complications in the neonatal period was patent ductus arteriosus, intraventricular hemorrhagia and periventricular leucomalacia, in 64%, 29,2% and 2,2% of the patients respectively. Retinopathy of prematurity and hearing loss were recorded in 60% and 22,1% of the patients. In 68,5% of the BPD patients one or more infections were diagnosed and nephrocalcinosis was found in 23,6%. The incidence of complications increased with severity of BPD. With increasing severity of BPD, this investigation showed an increase in incidence of both respiratory and developmental outcome measures in the period of two years follow-up. Conclusion: The real incidence of BPD appeared to be almost 150% of those who were recorded. Neonatal complications and disorders of respiratory and developmental outcome measures are common in premature children complicated with BPD. The incidence increased with increasing disease severity.
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