Increased prevalence of expiratory flow limitation during exercise in children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
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Evidence regarding the prevalence of expiratory flow limitation (EFL) during exercise and the ventilatory response to exercise in children born preterm is limited. This study aimed to determine the prevalence of EFL as well as contributing factors to EFL and the ventilatory response to exercise in preterm children with and without bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Preterm children (=32 weeks gestational age) aged 9-12 years with (n=64) and without (n=42) BPD and term controls (n=43), performed an incremental treadmill exercise test with exercise tidal flow-volume loops. More preterm children with BPD (53%) had EFL compared with preterm children without BPD (26%) or term controls (28%) (p<0.05). The presence of EFL was independently associated with decreased forced expiratory volume in 1 s/forced vital capacity z-score and lower gestational age (p<0.05). There was no difference in peak oxygen uptake between preterm children with BPD and term controls (48.0 versus 48.4 mL·kg-1·min-1; p=0.063); however, children with BPD had a lower tidal volume at peak exercise (mean difference -27 mL·kg-1, 95% CI -49-?-5; p<0.05). Children born preterm without BPD had ventilatory responses to exercise similar to term controls. Expiratory flow limitation is more prevalent in children born preterm with BPD and is associated with airway obstruction and a lower gestational age.
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