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Pediatrics. 1976 Aug;58(2):192-7.

Persistence of fetal cardiopulmonary circulation: one manifestation of transient tachypnea of the newborn.


Five cyanotic newborn infants underwent cardiac catheterization between 8 and 36 hours of age with a tentative diagnosis of cyanotic congenital heart disease. All had normal cardiovascular anatomy. Cyanosis was the result of persistence of fetal cardiopulmonary circulation with right-to-left shunting across the ductus arteriosus. In all infants, cyanosis resolved spontaneously and the infants survived without sequelae. Admission chest roentgenograms of all infants showed marked hyperinflation of the lungs. Except for severe hypoxemia, the clinical presentation, chest films, and course of illness of these infants were consistent with transient tachypnea of the newborn. It is proposed that an increase in pulmonary vascular resistance, due to hyperinflation of the lungs, was the mechanism which reopened the fetal cardiopulmonary circulatory channels and produced hypoxemia, and that these infants suffered from a rare manifestation of a usually benign newborn respiratory condition. Further, given these pathophysiologic mechanisms, the use of continuous transpulmonary pressure gradients in the management of such infants would be contraindicated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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