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1.  The Angiotensin Converting Enzyme Insertion/Deletion polymorphism is not associated with an increased risk of death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia in ventilated very low birth weight infants 
BMC Pediatrics  2004;4:26.
The ACE gene contains a polymorphism consisting of either the presence (insertion, I) or absence (deletion, D) of a 287 bp alu repeat in intron 16. The D allele is associated with increased ACE activity in both tissue and plasma. The DD genotype is associated with risk of developing ARDS and mortality. The frequency of the D allele is higher in patients with pulmonary fibrosis, sarcoidosis and berylliosis. The role of this polymorphism has not been studied in the development of BPD in the premature newborn.
ACE I/D genotype was determined in 245 (194 African-American, 47 Caucasian and 4 Hispanic) mechanically ventilated infants weighing less than 1250 grams at birth and compared to outcome (death and/or development of BPD).
The incidence of the D allele in the study population was 0.58. Eighty-eight (35.9%) infants were homozygous DD, 107 (43.7%) were heterozygous ID and 50 (20.4%) were homozygous II. There were no significant differences between genotype groups with respect to ethnic origin, birth weight, gestation, or gender. There was no effect of the ACE I/D polymorphism on mortality or development of BPD (O2 on 28 days or 36 weeks PCA). Secondary outcomes (intraventricular hemorrhage and periventricular leukomalacia) similarly were not influenced by the ACE ID polymorphism.
The ACE I/D polymorphism does not significantly influence the development of BPD in ventilated infants less than 1250 grams.
PMCID: PMC544573  PMID: 15610555
2.  Elevated platelet-derived growth factor-BB concentrations in premature neonates who develop chronic lung disease 
BMC Pediatrics  2004;4:10.
Chronic lung disease (CLD) in the preterm newborn is associated with inflammation and fibrosis. Platelet-derived growth factor-BB (PDGF-BB), a potent chemotactic growth factor, may mediate the fibrotic component of CLD. The objectives of this study were to determine if tracheal aspirate (TA) concentrations of PDGF-BB increase the first 2 weeks of life in premature neonates undergoing mechanical ventilation for respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), its relationship to the development of CLD, pulmonary hemorrhage (PH) and its relationship to airway colonization with Ureaplasma urealyticum (Uu).
Infants with a birth weight less than 1500 grams who required mechanical ventilation for RDS were enrolled into this study with parental consent. Tracheal aspirates were collected daily during clinically indicated suctioning. Uu cultures were performed on TA collected in the first week of life. TA supernatants were assayed for PDGF-BB and secretory component of IgA concentrations using ELISA techniques.
Fifty premature neonates were enrolled into the study. Twenty-eight infants were oxygen dependent at 28 days of life and 16 infants were oxygen dependent at 36 weeks postconceptual age. PDGF-BB concentrations peaked between 4 and 6 days of life. Maximum PDGF-BB concentrations were significantly higher in infants who developed CLD or died from respiratory failure. PH was associated with increased risk of CLD and was associated with higher PDGF-BB concentrations. There was no correlation between maximum PDGF-BB concentrations and Uu isolation from the airway.
PDGF-BB concentrations increase in TAs of infants who undergo mechanical ventilation for RDS during the first 2 weeks of life and maximal concentrations are greater in those infants who subsequently develop CLD. Elevation in lung PDGF-BB may play a role in the development of CLD.
PMCID: PMC434507  PMID: 15198807
3.  Failure of erythromycin to eliminate airway colonization with ureaplasma urealyticum in very low birth weight infants 
BMC Pediatrics  2003;3:10.
Airway colonization of mechanically ventilated very low birth weight infants (birth weight < 1500 grams) by Ureaplasma urealyticum (Uu) is associated with an increased risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). While Uu is sensitive to erythromycin in vitro, the efficacy of intravenous (IV) erythromycin to eliminate Uu from the airways has not been studied.
17 very low birth weight infants with Uu positive tracheal aspirate (TA) cultures were randomized to either 5 (8 infants) or 10 days (9 infants) of IV erythromycin lactobionate (40 mg/kg/day in 3 divided doses). Tracheal aspirate cultures for Uu were performed on days 0, 5, 10 and 15.
Intravenous erythromycin failed to eliminate airway colonization in a large proportion of infants regardless of whether they received 5 or 10 days of treatment. Ureaplasma urealyticum was isolated from 4/15 (27%) of TAs obtained at 5 days, 5/12 TAs (42%) obtained at 10 days and 6/11(55%) TAs obtained at 15 days (combined group data).
Erythromycin administered IV does not eliminate Uu from the airways in a large proportion of infants. Failure of erythromycin to eliminate Uu from the airways may contribute to the lack of efficacy of this drug in reducing the incidence of BPD in very low birth weight infants.
PMCID: PMC212466  PMID: 12956892
4.  Interleukin-4 and 13 concentrations in infants at risk to develop Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia 
BMC Pediatrics  2003;3:8.
An exaggerated inflammatory response occurs in the first few days of life in infants who subsequently develop bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). The increase of inflammatory cytokines in many disease processes is generally balanced by a rise in anti-inflammatory cytokines. Interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) have been shown to inhibit production of several inflammatory cytokines important in the development of BPD.
We sought to determine if a correlation exists between the presence or absence of IL-4 and IL-13 in tracheal aspirates (TA) during the first 3 weeks of life and the development of BPD in premature infants. Serial TAs were prospectively obtained from 36 very low birth weight infants and IL-4 and IL-13 concentrations were determined by ELISA.
Infants who developed BPD (n = 19) were less mature (25.3 ± 0.02 wks vs. 27.8 ± 0.05 wks; p < 0.001), and had lower birth weights (739 ± 27 g vs.1052 ± 41 g; p < 0.001). IL-4 and IL-13 were detectable in only 27 of 132 and 9 of 132 samples assayed respectively. Furthermore, the levels detected for IL-4 and IL-13 were very low and did not correlate with the development of BPD.
TA concentrations of IL-4 and IL-13 do not increase significantly during acute lung injury in premature infants.
PMCID: PMC194674  PMID: 12925236

Results 1-4 (4)