Objective: The development of the left cardiac structures in the early life of small for gestational age (SGA) preterm infants has been inadequately studied. The aim of the study was to compare the left ventricular cardiac dimensions between SGA and appropriate for gestational age (AGA) preterm infants.
Methods: Echocardiography was performed on day 2 (T1) and at age 1 month (T2) in 19 SGA preterm infants (birthweight <3rd percentile) and 21 AGA controls (P25-50) matched for gestational age (<30 weeks).
Results: The left ventricular cardiac dimensions did not differ significantly between SGA and AGA infants at either T1 or T2 after correction for body length. The left ventricular mass was similar for SGA and AGA infants at T1 and T2 after correction for body weight or body length. The left ventricular output increased significantly from T1 to T2 in both SGA and AGA infants [SGA: 350 (T1)–640 (T2) mL/kg/min, P<0.05; AGA: 300 (T1)–510 (T2) mL/kg/min, P<0.05].
Conclusions: The left cardiac structures related to body length are comparable between SGA and AGA preterm infants in the first month of life and show similar development.
©2013 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin Boston