Special Issue "Prematurity, Preterm-Born Adults, and Long-Term Effects on Children and Adults"

A special issue of Children (ISSN 2227-9067). This special issue belongs to the section "Integrative Pediatrics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 February 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Prof. Vasanth H.S. Kumar
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Pediatrics, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY 14203, USA
Interests: BPD and hyperoxic lung injury; pulmonary hypertension; resuscitation; long-term effects of prematurity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Advances in neonatal care have led to improved survival of premature infants with a concurrent increase in the incidence of preterm birth across the world. The spectrum of preterm infants extending from extremes of gestational age to the late preterm infant is at higher risk of adverse short-term and long-term outcomes. Some of these problems may not show up for considerable periods, even into adulthood. Management of short-term outcomes such as bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is further challenged by a broad spectrum of related long-term morbidities and neurodevelopmental issues in these infants.

Adults born preterm are at higher risk of neurobehavioral and adult-onset morbidities compared to term infants. The Special Issue will address problems relating to prematurity as infants grow into adults. Cardiorespiratory morbidity such as BPD, asthma, lung function, and pulmonary hypertension, organ-specific health issues (poor feeding, gastrointestinal, metabolic, and renal morbidities), or outcomes relating to neurodevelopment are of interest. Caffeine, oxygen, nutrition, and other factors that influence the growth and development of preterm infants are considered. Newer strategies, including machine learning and unique approaches such as bridging pediatric and adult programs to address research gaps in longitudinal assessment and management of premature infants, contributing to improved survival and long-term outcomes as they grow into adults, are of interest.

We welcome articles from across the globe on all matters relating to prematurity and long-term health to better the lives of these infants. Both reviews and original research will be considered for publication. The authors are welcome to contact the editor directly at [email protected] for questions or clarifications.

Prof. Vasanth H.S. Kumar
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Children is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Hyperoxia
  • Prematurity
  • Caffeine
  • Asthma
  • Adults born preterm
  • Growth
  • Neurodevelopment

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

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Article
A Novel Association between YKL-40, a Marker of Structural Lung Disease, and Short Telomere Length in 10-Year-Old Children with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
Children 2021, 8(2), 80; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children8020080 - 24 Jan 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
Extremely preterm infants are born with immature lungs and are exposed to an inflammatory environment as a result of oxidative stress. This may lead to airway remodeling, cellular aging and the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Reliable markers that predict the long-term consequences [...] Read more.
Extremely preterm infants are born with immature lungs and are exposed to an inflammatory environment as a result of oxidative stress. This may lead to airway remodeling, cellular aging and the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). Reliable markers that predict the long-term consequences of BPD in infancy are still lacking. We analyzed two biomarkers of cellular aging and lung function, telomere length and YKL-40, respectively, at 10 years of age in children born preterm with a history of BPD (n = 29). For comparison, these markers were also evaluated in sex-and-age-matched children born at term with childhood asthma (n = 28). Relative telomere length (RTL) was measured in whole blood with qPCR and serum YKL-40 with ELISA, and both were studied in relation to gas exchange and the regional ventilation/perfusion ratio using three-dimensional V/Q-scintigraphy (single photon emission computer tomography, SPECT) in children with BPD. Higher levels of YKL-40 were associated with shorter leukocyte RTL (Pearson’s correlation: −0.55, p = 0.002), but were not associated with a lower degree of matching between ventilation and perfusion within the lung. Serum YKL-40 levels were significantly higher in children with BPD compared to children with asthma (17.7 vs. 13.2 ng/mL, p < 0.01). High levels of YKL-40 and short RTLs were associated to the need for ventilatory support more than 1 month in the neonatal period (p < 0.01). The link between enhanced telomere shortening in childhood and structural remodeling of the lung, as observed in children with former BPD but not in children with asthma at the age of 10 years, suggests altered lung development related to prematurity and early life inflammatory exposure. In conclusion, relative telomere length and YKL-40 may serve as biomarkers of altered lung development as a result of early-life inflammation in children with a history of prematurity. Full article
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Article
Comparison of Blood Pressure and Kidney Markers between Adolescent Former Preterm Infants and Term Controls
Children 2020, 7(9), 141; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children7090141 - 17 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1334
Abstract
Background: Preterm infants are at an increased risk of developing hypertension and chronic kidney disease later in life. No recommendations exist for blood pressure (BP) and renal follow up for these patients. Aim: To compare BP and serum and urinary kidney markers between [...] Read more.
Background: Preterm infants are at an increased risk of developing hypertension and chronic kidney disease later in life. No recommendations exist for blood pressure (BP) and renal follow up for these patients. Aim: To compare BP and serum and urinary kidney markers between preterm-born adolescents and term-born controls. Methods: BP measurements in 51 preterm-born (≤32 weeks gestational age) and 82 term-born adolescents at the age of 10–15 years were conducted. Stepwise regression analysis explored the association between BP and participant characteristics. Kidney markers measured in the serum and urine were creatinine, neutrophil gelatinase-associated lipocalin (NGAL), and uromodulin. Kidney markers measured in the serum were cystatin C, beta-2 microglobulin, and beta trace protein. Results: Systolic BP was significantly higher in preterm boys compared with term boys, but not in girls, and low birth weight was associated with higher BP in boys. In the preterm group, maternal hypertension/preeclampsia and adolescent height were associated with higher systolic BP. Serum creatinine and NGAL were significantly higher in the preterm group. Conclusions: Our study confirms an inverse sex-dependant relationship between birth weight and BP at adolescent age. The higher serum creatinine and NGAL in the preterm group may indicate that premature birth affects kidney function in the long term. Full article
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Review

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Review
Predicting Long-Term Respiratory Outcomes in Premature Infants: Is It Time to Move beyond Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?
Children 2020, 7(12), 283; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/children7120283 - 10 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
Premature birth has been shown to be associated with adverse respiratory health in children and adults; children diagnosed with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in infancy are at particularly high risk. Since its first description by Northway et al. about half a century ago, the [...] Read more.
Premature birth has been shown to be associated with adverse respiratory health in children and adults; children diagnosed with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in infancy are at particularly high risk. Since its first description by Northway et al. about half a century ago, the definition of BPD has gone through several iterations reflecting the changes in the patient population, advancements in knowledge of lung development and injury, and improvements in perinatal care practices. One of the key benchmarks for optimally defining BPD has been the ability to predict long-term respiratory and health outcomes. This definition is needed by multiple stakeholders for hosts of reasons including: providing parents with some expectations for the future, to guide clinicians for developing longer term follow-up practices, to assist policy makers to allocate resources, and to support researchers involved in developing preventive or therapeutic strategies and designing studies with meaningful outcome measures. Long-term respiratory outcomes in preterm infants with BPD have shown variable results reflecting not only limitations of the current definition of BPD, but also potentially the impact of other prenatal, postnatal and childhood factors on the respiratory health. In this manuscript, we present an overview of the long-term respiratory outcomes in infants with BPD and discuss the role of other modifiable or non-modifiable factors affecting respiratory health in preterm infants. We will also discuss the limitations of using BPD as a predictor of respiratory morbidities and some of the recent advances in delineating the causes and severity of respiratory insufficiency in infants diagnosed with BPD. Full article
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