Objective Describe chronic health problems among 5 to 11 year old children treated for persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN). Determine the prevalence of sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL) and relate this to the most extreme value and cumulative exposure to hypoxia, hypocapnia and hypotension.
Methods The index group consisted of 85 children treated for PPHN. A reference group was matched for age, sex and municipality of current residence. To evaluate chronic health problems and use of remedial education questionnaires were sent to the families in both groups. The families in the index group were asked to participate in an examination of their child’s hearing. Hearing was evaluated using pure tone audiometry to identify hearing level in the frequency range 125–8000 Hz.
Results Seven children (11%) had SNHL. SNHL was not associated with hypoxia, hypocapnia or hypotension during the treatment for PPHN. In the index group chronic health problems was reported in 42% compared with 17% in the reference group (Chi2, p = 0,001). More children were treated with bronchodilatory therapy in the index group compared with the reference group (21% vs. 8%, Chi2, p = 0,028). In the index group five children had cerebral palsy and two had developmental delay. 19% in the index group and 5% in the reference group had remedial education (Chi2, p = 0,008).
Conclusion Children treated for PPHN are at high risk for SNHL. Exposure to hypoxia, hypocapnia or hypotension did not predict SNHL. The incidence of chronic health problems and use of remedial education was high.