University of Wisconsin–Madison

Right Heart Pulmonary Vascular Interaction in Adults with History of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)

March 2015 to May 2017

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease that primarily affects very low birth weight (VLBW) infants who received long-term mechanical ventilation and oxygen therapy, which result in impaired growth and development of the airways and lung blood vessels. Unfortunately, little is known about the long-term cardiopulmonary consequences of premature birth and BPD as these infants grow into young adults. We postulate that the reduced lung vasculature in BPD will put stress on the right heart, and that over time, this will lead to right heart dysfunction and abnormal right heart – pulmonary vascular (PV) interactions.
We hypothesize that young adults with BPD maintain the abnormal pulmonary architecture present at infancy and childhood, including decreased alveolarization and low vascular density. We postulate that young adults with BPD will exhibit alterations in right heart function, as a result of the stress imposed by the abnormal pulmonary vasculature. We expect to see changes in pulmonary perfusion and flow, visualized with cutting-edge MR technology, and increases in right heart and pulmonary vascular pressures, recorded using a right heart catheter, when faced with increased physiologic demands such as exercise and hypoxia. Furthermore, we anticipate that the interaction between the right heart and pulmonary vasculature will be abnormal.

This project led by: Marlowe Eldridge MD