BACKGROUND: Pre-term infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) are at risk of acquiring brain abnormalities. Combined with ongoing breathing difficulties, this may influence the development of their sucking patterns.

OBJECTIVE: To determine the longitudinal development of sucking patterns from birth until 10 weeks' post-term age in pre-term infants with and without BPD.

METHODS: The sucking patterns of 16 pre-term infants with BPD and 15 pre-term infants without BPD were prospectively assessed with the Neonatal Oral-Motor Assessment Scale. The infants were matched for gestational age (<30 weeks). We recorded approximately 12 feeding episodes per infant, from 34 until 50 weeks' post-menstrual age. We diagnosed the infants' sucking patterns as normal, dysfunctional, or disorganized. Then, we examined the development of the sucking patterns in relation to relevant clinical characteristics.

RESULTS: Thirty (21%) of 142 feeding episodes of the pre-term infants with BPD and 36 (23%) of 156 of those without BPD were diagnosed as normal (non-significant). Of the abnormal patterns, 3 were diagnosed as dysfunctional and 229 as disorganized. Before term-equivalent age, definitely abnormal sucking patterns were more prevalent in the pre-term infants with BPD than in those without BPD: 69 (49%) and 47 (30%) episodes, respectively (χ(2) = 10.7, p < 0.01). In particular, the abnormal patterns including the item 'incoordination', defined as the inability to coordinate sucking and swallowing with breathing, were more prevalent: 36 and 15%, respectively (χ(2) = 6.37, p < 0.05). There was no difference between the two groups regarding the age at which they acquired normal sucking patterns. Relevant clinical characteristics did not influence the development of the sucking patterns.

CONCLUSIONS: The developmental characteristic of sucking patterns in infants with BPD was that these infants were unable to coordinate swallowing with breathing. This was the case especially prior to term-equivalent age; after term-equivalent age, the development of sucking closely resembled that of pre-term infants without BPD.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)268-277
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusPublished - sep. 2010


  • neonatologie
  • borstvoeding


Duik in de onderzoeksthema's van 'Development of sucking patterns in pre-term infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia'. Samen vormen ze een unieke vingerafdruk.

Citeer dit