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Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007 Oct;197(4):381.e1-7.

Pulmonary arteriole muscularization in lambs with diaphragmatic hernia after combined tracheal occlusion/glucocorticoid therapy.

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  • 1Center of Fetal Diagnosis and Treatment, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

A morphometric study was performed to examine the effects of prenatal glucocorticoids, which were administered 48 hours before birth, on muscularization of small pulmonary arterioles (<60 microm diameter) in lambs with diaphragmatic hernia (DH) after fetal tracheal occlusion (TO).

STUDY DESIGN:

DH was created in 23 fetal sheep at 65 days gestation. TO was performed in 16 of 24 fetuses between 110 and 140 days of gestation; 9 of the fetuses were exposed prenatally to betamethasone (0.5 mg/kg body weight) 48 hours before delivery. Six sham-operated animals served as controls. Sections of paraffin that were embedded in lung tissues were stained with Elastin-Van Gieson, and the percentage of medial wall thickness (MWT) was determined.

RESULTS:

The percentage of MWT in DH lambs (29.6% +/- 1.9%) was increased compared with sham animals (18.1% +/- 1.3%) and was not different from that of DH/TO animals (30.3% +/- 1.7%). In DH/TO + glucocorticoid lambs, the percentage of MWT (24.6% +/- 1.2%) was significantly lower than in the DH/TO group but was higher than the sham group.

CONCLUSION:

In fetuses who underwent prolonged TO therapy for severe DH, prenatal glucocorticoid treatment decreased medial hypertrophy of pulmonary arterioles by approximately 19%. We speculate that such structural changes may have contributed to improve gas exchange that was observed in this model.

PMID:
17904968
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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