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International Journal of Pediatrics
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 581538, 9 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/581538
Clinical Study

Frequency Modulation and Spatiotemporal Stability of the sCPG in Preterm Infants with RDS

Neuroscience, Human Biology, and Bioengineering, Department of Speech-Language-Hearing: Sciences and Disorders, Communication Neuroscience Laboratories, University of Kansas, 1315 Wakarusa Drive, Lawrence, KS 66049, USA

Received 6 April 2012; Accepted 29 May 2012

Academic Editor: Katsumi Mizuno

Copyright © 2012 Steven M. Barlow et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

The nonnutritive suck (NNS) is an observable and accessible motor behavior which is often used to make inference about brain development and pre-feeding skill in preterm and term infants. The purpose of this study was to model NNS burst compression pressure dynamics in the frequency and time domain among two groups of preterm infants, including those with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS, N=15) and 17 healthy controls. Digitized samples of NNS compression pressure waveforms recorded at a 1-week interval were collected 15 minutes prior to a scheduled feed. Regression analysis and ANOVA revealed that healthy preterm infants produced longer NNS bursts and the mean burst initiation cycle frequencies were higher when compared to the RDS group. Moreover, the initial 5 cycles of the NNS burst manifest a frequency modulated (FM) segment which is a significant feature of the suck central pattern generator (sCPG), and differentially expressed in healthy and RDS infants. The NNS burst structure revealed significantly lower spatiotemporal index values for control versus RDS preterm infants during FM, and provides additional information on the microstructure of the sCPG which may be used to gauge the developmental status and progression of oromotor control systems among these fragile infants.