Neonatal FeNO, risk factors, and respiratory morbidity in infants: A cohort study

Fanny E M Goth, Birgitte J Schmidt, Kent Green, Andreas K Jensen, Lone Agertoft, Inger M Jørgensen

3 Citations (Scopus)


BACKGROUND: Respiratory symptoms in infancy are more common in premature infants. Nitric oxide (NO) is involved in prenatal and neonatal lung development. Measurement of exhaled NO is easy and well-tolerated by neonates. We investigated whether neonatal exhaled NO can be used to predict subsequent respiratory symptoms. Furthermore, we sought to determine prenatal and postnatal factors associated with increased respiratory symptom risk during the first year of life in premature and mature infants.

METHODS: Tidal fractional exhaled NO (FeNO) was measured in a birth cohort (n = 135) of premature and mature infants, up to six times during the first month of life. Primary outcomes were troublesome respiratory symptoms (TRS) and doctor-diagnosed asthmatic bronchitis (AB) at 1 year of age.

FINDINGS: The correlation between FeNO and TRS changed significantly in an age-dependent pattern in moderately premature infants (p = .02). Moderately premature infants with a low FeNO of 2 ppb on postnatal Day 3 had a 48% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 17%-80%) probability of TRS, compared with a probability of 12% (95% CI: 1%-64%) for otherwise similar infants with a FeNO of 11 ppb. Respiratory syncytial virus infection and parental smoking significantly increased the TRS risk in premature infants. Parental asthma and maternal antibiotic use during pregnancy significantly increased the TRS risk in mature infants.

INTERPRETATION: An age-specific association between neonatal FeNO and respiratory symptoms was seen in moderately premature infants. TRS risk was associated with postnatal factors in premature and prenatal factors in mature infants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number25585
JournalPediatric Pulmonology
Issue number10
Pages (from-to)3174-3182
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2021


  • biomarkers
  • infant
  • nitric oxide
  • premature
  • respiratory system


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