There was high respiratory morbidity linked with down syndrome. There was evidence of restrictive lung disease in school-aged children and people with Down syndrome. For a study, researchers sought to assess infant pulmonary function tests (iPFTs) in people with Down syndrome.

Results from a registry of patients evaluated at the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center between 2008 and 2018 were used in observational case-control research analyzing iPFTs. Using the Mann-Whitney U and Fisher’s exact tests, the iPFT findings in newborns with Down syndrome were compared to a control group of infants who underwent spirometry and had normal expiratory airflows.

In the research, iPFT data from 66 infants (20 Down and 46 control) were assessed. Most Down syndrome infants exhibited anomalies indicative of an obstructive lung illness, including slightly enlarged lung volumes and severely reduced expiratory flows, and were frequently refractory to bronchodilators. Low lung volumes were where airflow limits were most noticeable (median (IQR); maximum expiratory flow at functional residual capacity, Vmax FRC = 48 (26-78)% predicted in Down Vs. Vmax FRC = 100 (93-114)%predicted in controls, P< 0.001). They also noticed a change in breathing mechanics, with much less compliance of the respiratory system and more airway resistance in conjunction with reduced tidal volumes but equivalent minute ventilation.

According to the research, newborns have a fixed phenotype of airflow restriction. The findings provided detailed information that would aid in understanding the early-onset pulmonary illness that affects newborns with Down syndrome. To better manage pulmonary disorders in Down syndrome patients, further research was needed.

Reference: resmedjournal.com/article/S0954-6111(22)00293-1/fulltext