Lung function in young adults with congenital diaphragmatic hernia; A longitudinal evaluation
Background: Survival rates of patients with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) have improved to up to 80%. Little is known about long-term consequences of the disease and its treatment. We evaluated lung function and respiratory symptoms longitudinally in a previously studied cohort of CDH patients and age-matched non-CDH patients who underwent similar neonatal intensive care treatment. Study Design: We tested 27 young adults [mean (SD) age: 26.8 years (2.9)] with CDH and 30 non-CDH patients. Dynamic and static lung volumes, midexpiratory flows, and diffusion capacity were expressed as mean (SD) standard deviation scores. Prevalence of respiratory symptoms was evaluated with the European Community Respiratory Health Survey. Results: All data are expressed as mean (SD). FEF25-75in CDH patients had slightly deteriorated since childhood (CDH: -0.7 (1.4) vs. -1.6 (1.5), P<0.001; non-CDH patients: 0.2 (1.4) vs. -0.3 (1.6), P=0.038, ns). Diffusion capacity decreased in both groups (CDH: DLCOc 0.2 (1.1) vs. -1.5 (1.1), P<0.001; non-CDH: DLCOc 0.1 (0.4) vs. -1.1 (1.1), P<0.001). Lung volumes were normal in both groups. The prevalence of asthma was higher than in the normal population (27.6% in patients and 30% in controls, P<0.001). Conclusions: Airflow obstruction and diffusion capacity deteriorated mildly from childhood into adulthood in survivors of CDH. The improved survival of patients with more severe forms of diaphragmatic hernia calls for long-term follow-up of lung function.