Washington University is one of five clinical sites of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute sponsored Prematurity–Related Ventilatory Control (Pre-Vent): Role in Respiratory Outcomes and Respiratory Outcomes Program. The objective of the program is to investigate mechanisms of ventilatory control (e.g. chemoreceptor, mechanoreceptor, developmental, etc.) that contribute to instability of oxygenation and risk of morbidity and mortality in premature infants during and after the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) using a prospective observational cohort.
The Washington University site is investigating novel techniques for calculation of loop gain of the respiratory system and explore the links between abnormalities seen by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and aberrant ventilatory control. The proposed studies are designed to help clarify the indications for airflow support, supplemental oxygen therapy and a ventilatory stimulant (caffeine) as these infants grow and mature.