Early motor development in infants with moderate or severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia

DeMauro, S.B., Burkhardt, M., Wood, A., Nilan, K., Jensen, E.A., Bamat, N.A., Zhang, H., Gibbs, K. | JNPM 2022;

Abstract: BACKGROUND: Timely development of early motor skills is essential for later skill development in multiple domains. Infants with severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) have significant risk for developmental delays. Early motor skill development in this population has not been described. The aim of the present study was to characterize motor skill acquisition at 3 and 6 months corrected age (CA) and assess trajectories of skill development over this time period in infants with severe BPD. METHODS: We performed a single-center, retrospective descriptive study. Motor skills were categorized as present and normal, present but atypical, or absent at 3 and 6 months CA. Logistic regression was used to identify clinical characteristics associated with negative trajectories of skill acquisition. RESULTS: Data were available for 232 infants and 187 infants at 3 and 6 months CA, respectively. Ten motor skills were present and normal in 5–44%(range) of subjects at 3 months. Nineteen motor skills were present and normal in 1–63%(range) of subjects at 6 months. Significant postural asymmetry was noted throughout the study period. Loss of skills and worsening asymmetries over time were common. Exposure to sedating medications was significantly associated with poor development. CONCLUSION: We report delays in motor skill acquisition and postural asymmetries in infants with severe BPD at both 3 and 6 months CA. The association between sedating medications and poor development suggests that efforts to limit these exposures may lead to improved development. Targeted interventions to facilitate early motor development may improve outcomes of this high-risk population.

*Corresponding Author: 

Sara B. DeMauro, MD MSCE, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia - Roberts Center for Pediatric Research, 2716 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146, USA. Tel.: +1 215 913 8931; E-mail: DeMauro@chop.edu.