Congenital pulmonary hypoplasia
Over the past several years, our laboratory has been involved in the prenatal treatment of congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) in fetal lamb model. We have examined the effects of tracheal occlusion (TO) as a means of reversing the pulmonary hypoplasia associated with CDH. We have developed a minimally invasive technique to occlude the fetal trachea by means of an endoscopically placed detachable balloon. We have done structural lung studies such as morphometry, DNA and protein measurements, in-situ hybridization and electron microscopy. We have also done functional lung studies by resuscitating the newborn lambs for up to 8 hours and performing surfactant studies and pulmonary function tests. Our next projects are likely to develop a rabbit model of CDH and TO to look at growth factors involved. Another future project would examine bronchial branching in CDH.