Neonatal Med.  2021 Feb;28(1):1-6. 10.5385/nm.2021.28.1.1.

Management of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Preterm Infants

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea

Abstract

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is a consequence of the failure of a decrease in the elevated pulmonary vascular resistance after birth. Pulmonary vasodilators, including inhaled nitric oxide (iNO), have been the mainstream of targeted therapy for PPHN, but no drugs have been proven to be effective in preterm infants with PPHN. The fetus remains hemodynamically stable despite lower arterial oxygen tension and pulmonary blood flow as compared to full-term newborns. This adaptation is due to the lower oxygen requirement and high oxygencarrying capacity of fetal circulation. The immature lungs of preterm infants are more vulnerable to reactive oxygen species, and the response of pulmonary vascular dilatation to blood oxygen tension is blunted in preterm infants. Recently, iNO has been reported to be effective in a selected group of preterm infants, such as those with prolonged preterm rupture of membrane-oligohydramnios-pulmonary hypoplasia sequence. PPHN in preterm infants, along with maximum supportive treatment based on fetal physiology and meticulous assessment of cardiovascular function, is in dire need of new treatment guidelines, including optimal dosing strategies for pulmonary vasodilators.

Keyword

Persistent fetal circulation syndrome; Hypertension, pulmonary; Nitric oxide; Infant, premature; Premature rupture of fetal membrane
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