Longitudinal assessment of hemoglobin oxygen saturation in preterm and term infants in the first six months of life

Carl E. Hunt*, Michael J. Corwin, Debra E. Weese-Mayer, Sally L. Davidson Ward, Rangasamy Ramanathan, George Lister, Larry R. Tinsley, Tim Heeren, Denis Rybin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

28 Scopus citations


Objective: To report longitudinal home recordings of hemoglobin O 2 saturation by pulse oximetry (Spo2) during unperturbed sleep in preterm and term infants. Study design: We recorded continuous pulse oximetry during the first 3 minutes of each hour of monitor use (nonevent epochs) for 103 preterm infants born at <1750 g and ≤34 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA), and 99 healthy term infants. Results: Median baseline Spo2 was approximately 98% for both the preterm and term groups. Episodes of intermittent hypoxemia occurred in 74% of preterm and 62% of term infants. Among infants with intermittent hypoxemia, the number of seconds/hour of monitoring <90% Spo2 was initially significantly greater in the preterm than the term group and declined with age at a similar rate in both groups. The 75th to 95th percentiles for seconds/hour of Spo2 <90% in preterm infants were highest at 36 weeks PMA and progressively decreased until 44 weeks PMA, after which time they did not differ from term infants. Conclusions: Clinically inapparent intermittent hypoxemia occurs in epochs unperturbed by and temporally unrelated to apnea or bradycardia events, especially in preterm infants at 36 to 44 weeks PMA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-383.e1
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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