Epidemiological studies have shown that intrauterine growth restriction is associated with increased respiratory morbidity in the neonatal period with an increased risk of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Respiratory consequences of environmental intrauterine changes extend into childhood and adulthood with abnormal lung function tests. In animal models, changes in surfactant and alveolarization disorders vary from one study to another. Moreover, the molecular mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Fetal adaptations to intrauterine malnutrition result in permanent changes in lung structure, raising the question of lung "programming".
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