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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Studies on the normal and abnormal lung growth in the human and in the rat with emphasis on the connective tissue fibers of the lung Cherukupalli, Kamala


Infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), showed impaired body growth when compared to control infants. In terms of changes in the biochemical composition of the lung, BPD infants had higher DNA, soluble protein, collagen and desmosine contents as well as increased concentrations of DNA, collagen and desmosine in their lungs when compared to the growth patterns obtained for the lungs of control infants. Pathologically BPD was classified into 4 grades. Grade I BPD, was a phase of acute lung injury, grades II and III were proliferative phases. In grade IV BPD, lung structure returned towards normal. Evidence of fibrosis was seen by a significant increase in collagen concentration in grades II and III while desmosine concentration was seen to increase in grades III and IV suggesting that the increase in collagen and desmosine contents in the lungs of BPD infants may be controlled by two different mechanisms. Collagen type I/III ratio was seen to decrease progressively from grade II to grade IV BPD in comparison to age matched controls, indicating a higher proportion of type III collagen in the lungs of infants with BPD. From the clinical analysis and the results obtained from discriminant analysis procedure, it was seen that there was a high degree of correlation between the continuation of the disease and collagen accumulation in the lungs suggesting that pulmonary fibrosis with excessive collagen accumulation is an integral part of BPD. This fibrotic process seemed to correlate significantly with assisted ventilation and high oxygen supplementation received by the infants, but it was difficult to assess the individual contribution of the two treatments in the pathogenesis of BPD. Other variables such as severity of the initial disease and the length of survival of the infants, made the assessment of individual contribution much more difficult.

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