Altered brainstem sensory processing as assessed by reflex modification procedures in infants at risk for apnea

Pediatric Research
E K AndayH S Hoffman


Reflex modification procedures were used to test sensory processing in premature infants to examine the relationship between respiratory abnormalities and brainstem neuronal function. A total of 73 premature infants at risk for apnea and/or infants receiving methylxanthine therapy was given a 12-h pneumocardiogram and reflex modification test at a comparable postconceptional age, before discharge. Reflex modification was tested using a controlled eyeblink-eliciting tap to the glabella presented either alone or with a 1 kHz 90-dB SPL tone. The amplitude of the glabellar tap eyeblink and acoustically modified blink were lower in infants discharged on cardiac/apnea monitors (n = 36) than in the unmonitored group (1.44 and 1.59 volts versus 2.15 and 2.39 V, p less than 0.005, respectively). At follow-up, 12 monitored infants had clinically significant apnea after discharge. The records of this subgroup of infants revealed a significantly lower augmentation of the glabellar eyeblink response when compared to all infants screened for respiratory abnormalities and to the other monitored babies (p less than 0.01). The data suggest that abnormalities of the ventilatory pattern and occurrence of clinical apnea in preterm infants may in s...Continue Reading


Jan 1, 1991·Archives of Disease in Childhood·N R Ruggins
Jul 1, 1994·Archives of Disease in Childhood. Fetal and Neonatal Edition·Y J ChenT F Yeh

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