Background: Aerosol administration is increasingly being used as a therapeutic intervention for mechanically ventilated preterm infants. However, the effects of inhalation therapy on retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) have not yet been explored. Methods: A retrospective cohort study was conducted in a tertiary level neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) from 2011 to 2013. All preterm infants with a gestational age (GA) of 24~29 weeks receiving invasive intubation for more than 1 week in the NICU were included. Infants with severe congenital anomalies were excluded. ROP was defined as stage II or greater according to medical records by ophthalmologists. A multivariate logistic regression model was used to estimate the risk of ROP in relation to inhalation therapy after adjusting for confounders. Results: In total, 205 infants were enrolled in this study, including 154 with inhalation therapy and 51 without inhalation therapy. Univariate analyses showed an association of inhalation with the following characteristics: Sex (p = 0.047), GA (p = 0.029), sepsis (p = 0.047), bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) (p < 0.001), and ROP (p = 0.001). Furthermore, logistic regression analysis indicated that inhalation therapy was an independent risk factor for ROP (odds ratio (OR) = 2.639; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.050~6.615). In addition, infants with a GA of 24~25 weeks (OR = 6.063; 95% CI = 2.482~14.81) and 26~27 weeks (OR = 3.825; 95% CI = 1.694~8.638) were at higher risk of ROP than those with a GA of 28~29 weeks. Other factors-including sex, sepsis, BPD, and delivery mode-did not carry significant risk. Conclusion: Aerosol therapy with pure oxygen delivery is associated with ROP. Clinicians should exercise great caution when conducting aerosol therapy with excess oxygen in mechanically ventilated preterm infants.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine