To evaluate the natural history of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, we studied the same 32 patients at a mean age of 7 and 10 years. The group as a whole had normal height and weight percentiles, and each child grew along his or her established somatic growth curve. Although some children had abnormal values, the group maintained a normal mean total lung capacity and functional residual capacity. The mean residual volume and the residual volume/total lung capacity ratios were elevated at both ages. At age 7 years the 19 patients (59%) who had a forced expiratory volume in 1 second (FEV1) of less than 80% had "catch up" improvement by 10 years of age (65 +/- 11% to 72 +/- 16% of predicted value; p less than 0.05). All the children who had a normal FEV1 at 7 years of age continued to have a normal FEV1 at age 10 years. Resting single-breath carbon monoxide uptake by the lung was normal when measured at age 10 years. The majority of patients had a positive methacholine challenge test result at both ages, although there was a low incidence of clinically diagnosed asthma. This study demonstrates that patients with bronchopulmonary dysplasia who have normal lung function at age 7 have had normal lung growth and that those with evidence of mild to moderate lung disease have continued lung growth or repair, or both, during their school years.
View details for Web of Science ID A1991EX30200006
View details for PubMedID 1993945