Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in Preterm Infants – Understanding the Physiological Changes in AA and DHA during Gestation
This article at a glance
- Bronchopulmonary dysplasia is a form of lung injury caused by assisted ventilation and oxygen support compounding an incomplete development of lung tissue observed in very early and low birth weight preterm infants.
- In a study of fetal fatty acid (LCPUFA) accretion during the third trimester of pregnancy, the level of arachidonic acid contained in phosphatidylcholine (AA-PC) was found to be more abundant in cord blood than in the maternal circulation, and fetal docosahexaenoyl-PC (DHA-PC) level started exceeding maternal levels after week 33.
- Bronchopulmonary dysplasia severity was associated with a low AA-PC to DHA-PC ratio in cord blood of very immature infants born before week 28. In particular, higher cord blood levels of DHA-PC were associated with more severe bronchopulmonary dysplasia in these neonates.
- This study points at specific requirements for individual long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) for optimal lung development during a specific time period, of relevance to dietary habits during pregnancy and to preterm infant nutrition.