Pulmonary hypertension associated with bronchopulmonary dysplasia in preterm infants

Christine B. Bui, Merrin A. Pang, Arvind Sehgal, Christiane Theda, Jason C. Lao, Philip J. Berger, Marcel F. Nold, Claudia A. Nold-Petry

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleOtherpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and BPD-associated pulmonary hypertension (BPD-PH) are chronic inflammatory cardiopulmonary diseases with devastating short- and long-term consequences for infants born prematurely. The immature lungs of preterm infants are ill-prepared to achieve sufficient gas exchange, thus usually necessitating immediate commencement of respiratory support and oxygen supplementation. These therapies are life-saving, but they exacerbate the tissue damage that is inevitably inflicted on a preterm lung forced to perform gas exchange. Together, air-breathing and necessary therapeutic interventions disrupt normal lung development by aggravating pulmonary inflammation and vascular remodelling, thus frequently precipitating BPD and PH via an incompletely understood pathogenic cascade. BPD and BPD-PH share common risk factors, such as low gestational age at birth, fetal growth restriction and perinatal maternal inflammation; however, these risk factors are not unique to BPD or BPD-PH. Occurring in 17–24% of BPD patients, BPD-PH substantially worsens the morbidity and mortality attributable to BPD alone, thus darkening their outlook; for example, BPD-PH entails a mortality of up to 50%. The absence of a safe and effective therapy for BPD and BPD-PH renders neonatal cardiopulmonary disease an area of urgent unmet medical need. Besides the need to develop new therapeutic strategies, a major challenge for clinicians is the lack of a reliable method for identifying babies at risk of developing BPD and BPD-PH. In addition to discussing current knowledge on pathophysiology, diagnosis and treatment of BPD-PH, we highlight emerging biomarkers that could enable clinicians to predict disease-risk and also optimise treatment of BPD-PH in our tiniest patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-29
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Reproductive Immunology
Volume124
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

Keywords

  • Biomarkers
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Predictors
  • Preterm infants
  • Pulmonary hypertension

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