Recruitment Complete



can sonographic assessment of pulmonary vascular reactivity following maternal Hyperoxygenation therapy predict neonatal Outcome in foeTuses at risk of PulmOnary Hypertension?


Principal Investigator – Prof. Fionnuala Breathnach

Co-Investigators – Prof. Afif El-Khuffash and Dr. Orla Franklin

Persistent pulmonary hypertension of the newborn (PPHN) is a relatively common condition occurring in 0.5 to 7 per 1000 live births and can result in significant cardiovascular instability in the newborn. Some degree of pulmonary hypertension complicates the course of more than 10% of all neonates with respiratory failure.

Some structural problems can develop in the fetus before it is born, which can make them more susceptible to developing PPHN. Babies born prematurely are at increased risk of developing PPHN. To date, there is no known way to accurately predict which babies will develop this condition, and which of those babies will have either a mild or severe form of the disease.

This study will evaluate if using fetal echocardiographic Doppler assessment (a detailed ultrasound that also looks at fetal heart function and blood flow) before and after the mother undergoes hyperoxygenation therapy (giving the mother extra oxygen) can predict how well the baby will adjust to neonatal life and whether or not they will develop PPHN.

We hope that the test will accurately predict which newborns are at risk of developing PPHN and in particular which newborns are at risk of developing a severe form of the disease. If the test proves to be predictive it will help us in the future with regards to counselling parents of the potential occurrence of PPHN, and help guide doctors and midwives in developing the best care plan for these pregnancies.