Precursors of cardiorespiratory events in infants detected by home memory monitor

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


In 1,079 infants monitored for >700,000 hr at home for apnea or bradycardia, we found an association between infants having multiple events exceeding conventional or a priori defined more extreme thresholds and less favorable developmental outcome at 1 year of age than infants with few or no events. If it is necessary to prevent such events to minimize risk for developmental morbidity, there is reason to determine whether there are disturbances in advance of the apnea or bradycardia that herald their onset. In the 85 infants with at least 1 extreme event and 1 conventional event, we hypothesized that apnea and bradycardia do not occur de novo but rather are preceded by cardiorespiratory and hemoglobin O2 saturation changes. We compared recorded time intervals preceding these events, and we analyzed three preceding time intervals for each conventional and extreme event, and each non-event recording: Time-2 hr: up to 2 hr before; Time-1 hr: up to 1 hr before; and Time-75 sec; the 75 sec immediately preceding each event. O 2 saturation progressively decreased preceding both conventional and extreme events, and progressive increases occurred in heart and breathing rate variability. Duration of respiratory pauses and of periodic breathing progressively increased preceding conventional events, respiratory rate variability increased immediately preceding conventional events and at 1 hr preceding extreme events, and O2 saturation decreased immediately preceding both conventional and extreme events. Thus, conventional and extreme events do not occur de novo but rather are preceded by autonomic instability of the cardiorespiratory system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-98
Number of pages12
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


  • Apnea
  • Bradycardia
  • Hemoglobin O saturation (SpO)
  • Prematurity
  • Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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