A review of chronic lung disease in neonates at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2014
Background. Chronic lung disease (CLD) remains a significant morbidity in preterm babies despite advances in neonatal care. The use of postnatal corticosteroids (PNCSs) to treat CLD remains controversial.
Objectives. To describe the clinical characteristics of babies with CLD at Charlotte Maxeke Johannesburg Academic Hospital (CMJAH) and to explore the use of PNCSs for the prevention and treatment of CLD.
Methods. This was a 2-year retrospective review of neonates admitted to CMJAH. Neonates who were in hospital for ≥28 days were included. Comparisons were made between neonates with evolving CLD and those with no CLD.
Results. A total of 485 neonates were analysed: 237 had evolving CLD and 245 did not have CLD. Overall incidence of evolving CLD was 5%. More neonates with CLD than those without CLD needed resuscitation at birth (48.5% v. 39.8%; p=0.02) and had low 5-minute Apgar scores (17.2% v. 10.6%; p=0.001). Neonates with CLD had increased prevalence of patent ductus arteriosus (30.4% v. 7.7%; p=0.001) and late-onset sepsis (56.5% v. 23.6%; p=0.001). The mortality rate was also higher in CLD babies (10.2 v. 2.4%; p=0.001). Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) (29.2% v. 8%; p=0.005) and sepsis (83.3% v. 53.8%; p=0.008) were associated with increased mortality. The use of PNCSs was associated with less NEC (3.5% v. 17.2%; p=0.001) and improved survival (95.6% v. 81.7%; p=0.001).
Conclusions. CLD remains a common morbidity in neonates despite advances in neonatal care. The use of PNCSs was shown to have short-term benefits. To get the most out of PNCS use for CLD, further studies need to be conducted to determine the safest type of steroid, safe doses and the duration of treatment.