Persistence of right ventricular dysfunction and altered morphometry in asymptomatic preterm Infants through one year of age: Cardiac phenotype of prematurity

Collin T. Erickson, Meghna D. Patel, Swati Choudhry, Karl Stessy Bisselou, Tim Sekarski, Mary Craft, Ling Li, Afif El Khuffash, Aaron Hamvas, Shelby Kutty, Gautam K. Singh, Philip T. Levy

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Introduction: Prematurity impacts myocardial development and may determine long-term outcomes. The objective of this study was to test the hypothesis that preterm neonates develop right ventricle dysfunction and adaptive remodelling by 32 weeks post-menstrual age that persists through 1 year corrected age.Materials and Methods: A subset of 80 preterm infants (born <29 weeks) was selected retrospectively from a prospectively enrolled cohort and measures of right ventricle systolic function and morphology by two-dimensional echocardiography were assessed at 32 weeks post-menstrual age and at 1 year of corrected age. Comparisons were made to 50 term infants at 1 month and 1 year of age. Sub-analyses were performed in preterm-born infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or pulmonary hypertension.Result: In both term and preterm infants, right ventricle function and morphology increased over the first year (p < 0.01). The magnitudes of right ventricle function measures were lower in preterm-born infants at each time period (p < 0.01 for all) and right ventricle morphology indices were wider in all preterm infants by 1 year corrected age, irrespective of lung disease. Measures of a) right ventricle function were further decreased and b) morphology increased through 1 year in preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and/or pulmonary hypertension (p < 0.01).Conclusion: Preterm infants exhibit abnormal right ventricle performance with remodelling at 32 weeks post-menstrual age that persists through 1 year corrected age, suggesting a less developed intrinsic myocardial function response following preterm birth. The development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia and pulmonary hypertension leave a further negative impact on right ventricle mechanics over the first year of age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)945-953
Number of pages9
JournalCardiology in the Young
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2019



  • Right ventricular function
  • echocardiography
  • neonates
  • prematurity
  • strain imaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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