The short- and longer-term consequences of immature respiratory control in preterm infants
Immature respiratory control has generated increased interest over the last decade due to the resultant intermittent hypoxic episodes. Such episodes are typically consequences of respiratory pauses superimposed upon an immature lung. Furthermore, longer-term neurorespiratory morbidity is increasingly recognized in former preterm infants. The question remains whether intermittent hypoxia is contributing to the various longer-term morbidities addressed in this review. Future studies need to address this problem by employing appropriate animal models that allow characterization of longer-term morbidities associated with or caused by intermittent hypoxia in early postnatal life.