Evaluation of Neonatal Lung Volume Growth by Pulmonary Magnetic Resonance Imaging in Patients with Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia

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Abstract

Objective

To evaluate postnatal lung volume in infants with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) and determine if a compensatory increase in lung volume occurs during the postnatal period.

Study design

Using a novel pulmonary magnetic resonance imaging method for imaging neonatal lungs, the postnatal lung volumes in infants with CDH were determined and compared with prenatal lung volumes obtained via late gestation magnetic resonance imaging.

Results

Infants with left-sided CDH (2 mild, 9 moderate, and 1 severe) were evaluated. The total lung volume increased in all infants, with the contralateral lung increasing faster than the ipsilateral lung (mean ± SD: 4.9 ± 3.0 mL/week vs 3.4 ± 2.1 mL/week, P = .005). In contrast to prenatal studies, the volume of lungs of infants with more severe CDH grew faster than the lungs of infants with more mild CDH (Spearman's ρ=-0.086, P = .01). Although the contralateral lung volume grew faster in both mild and moderate groups, the majority of total lung volume growth in moderate CDH came from increased volume of the ipsilateral lung (42% of total lung volume increase in the moderate group vs 32% of total lung volume increase in the mild group, P = .09). Analysis of multiple clinical variables suggests that increased weight gain was associated with increased compensatory ipsilateral lung volume growth (ρ = 0.57, P = .05).

Conclusions

These results suggest a potential for postnatal catch-up growth in infants with pulmonary hypoplasia and suggest that weight gain may increase the volume growth of the more severely affected lung.

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