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Ureaplasma urealyticum colonization and bronchopulmonary dysplasia: a comparative prospective multicentre study

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To determine the role of tracheal colonization at birth with Ureaplasma urealyticum and other pathogenic bacteria with regard to the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), 97 premature infants with very low birth weight (<1500 g) were followed prospectively over 30 days in a multicentre study. Of those infants, 35 were colonized with Ureaplasma urealyticum (group Ia), 22 with other pathogenic bacteria (group Ib) and 40 infants with sterile tracheal aspirates served as controls (group II). Colonization with Ureaplasma urealyticum or with pathogenic bacteria independently increased the risk of developing BPD as compared to the controls (OR 2.55; 95% CI [1.11, 5.87]). Among Ureaplasma urealyticum and bacterial colonized infants, duration of mechanical ventilation and oxygen requirement were significantly longer than among controls (P < 0.05); during the interval of 11 to 35 days of life, every additional day of ventilation significantly increased the risk of BPD (OR 1.22; CI [1.12, 1.32]). The rate of oxygen supplementation, which was similar in both groups during the first 2 weeks of life, was significantly higher among the colonized infants at day 21 (0.38 ± 0.18 and 0.39 ± 0.16 vs 0.31 ± 0.13, P < 0.05) and at day 28 (0.38 ± 0.21 and 0.34 ± 0.15 vs 0.28 ± 0.12, P < 0.05). For infants still ventilated at age of 28 days, Ureaplasma urealyticum and bacterial colonization were associated with a significant higher risk for BPD than for uncolonized controls (OR 5.53; [1.27, 24.02]. Association of Ureaplasma urealyticum and of bacterial colonization and BPD was not weakened after adjustments were made in a multivariate analysis for other significant risk factors.

Conclusion Ureaplasma urealyticum colonization is as an important risk factor in the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia as bacterial colonization even after treatment with surfactant.

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Received: 23 January 1997 and in revised form: 30 December 1997 / Accepted: 5 January 1998

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Abele-Horn, M., Genzel-Boroviczény, O., Uhlig, T. et al. Ureaplasma urealyticum colonization and bronchopulmonary dysplasia: a comparative prospective multicentre study. Eur J Pediatr 157, 1004–1011 (1998).

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  • Birth Weight
  • Mechanical Ventilation
  • Multicentre Study
  • Premature Infant
  • Pathogenic Bacterium