Research Topic

Prevention and Treatment of Postnatal Developmental Lung Injury – From Animal Models to Clinical Implications

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About this Research Topic

Premature infants often have serious clinical problems in the early and late stages, in addition to neurodevelopmental impairment. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common long-term complication afflicting preterm infants. The incidence of BPD is 20~50% in the very low birth weight infants with a ...

Premature infants often have serious clinical problems in the early and late stages, in addition to neurodevelopmental impairment. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common long-term complication afflicting preterm infants. The incidence of BPD is 20~50% in the very low birth weight infants with a gestational age of less than 28 weeks. Lung development normally occurs over five stages: embryonic, pseudoglandular, canalicular, saccular, and alveolar. Term infants are born at the alveolar stage of lung development. Preterm infants at risk of developing BPD are born during the late-canalicular to early-saccular phase of lung development. The premature lung is subjected to many insults in the perinatal period: chorioamnionitis, hyperoxia, and ventilator-induced barotrauma, which initiates an inflammatory cascade and damages the developing lung. Repair and resolution of lung injury leads to the development of BPD.

BPD is the consequence of multiple factors, from prenatal and/or postpartum factors, which interfere with the development of the lower respiratory tract and lead to severe respiratory system disease. The most frequent and critical insult during neonatal periods is oxidative stress caused by oxygen therapy to treat newborns with respiratory disorders. Despite early surfactant therapy, optimal ventilation strategies and increased use of non-invasive positive pressure ventilation, BPD remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality during the first year of life. Many BPD infants experience significant respiratory morbidity, including increased airway reactivity and the development of obstructive airway diseases throughout childhood. There has been growing awareness that the origins of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease may arise early in life. However, no effective therapy is currently available to prevent and to treat the perinatal insult- or hyperoxia-induced developmental lung injury.

This Research Topic will provide a platform for the dissemination of recent advances in the prevention and treatment of postnatal developmental lung injury. The Topic includes preclinical and clinical studies and up-to-date knowledge in the pathophysiology of lung development and lung injury, as well as in the prevention and treatment of postnatal developmental lung injury.


Keywords: neonates, hyperoxia, lung injury, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, treatment


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