High Peep



Developed lung marks

A developed lung marks the crucial step from fetus to an extrauterine, independent being. Premature infants, who are born before the regular date of birth, often suffer from an immaturity of the lungs: they are not ready for life outside the uterus.

Underdevelopement of the lungs can result in bronchopulmonary dysplasia which is a chronic lung disorder highly common among prematurely born children. Preterm infants with breathing difficulties are usually ventilated mechanically with either intermitting positive ventilation and /or continuous positive airway pressure to support lung maturation by opening the lung alveoli. After birth, the establishment of an optimal lung volume (functional residual capacity, FRC) represents a decisive factor for an optimal lung maturation.

Although generally an initial persisting inhalation on a high level or a PEEP (positive end exspiratory pressure) significantly over airway pressure is applied, little is known on how this influences the heart-time volume and the blood flow through lungs, body and brain.

The goal of this project is to answer open questions on these ventilating schemes for preterms. With flow measurements in MRI scans we will be able to draw conclusions on the blood flow in the lungs, the brain and the body. We can compare different ventilating schemes to spontaneous breathing and can draw conclusions on how preterms adapt to these.