Cardiac Magnetic Resonance Imaging Evaluation of Neonatal Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia-associated Pulmonary Hypertension

Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2020 Jan 1;201(1):73-82. doi: 10.1164/rccm.201904-0826OC.


Rationale: Patients with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)-associated pulmonary hypertension (PH) have increased morbidity and mortality. Noninvasive assessment relies on echocardiograms (echos), which are technically challenging in this population. Improved assessment could augment decisions regarding PH therapies.Objectives: We hypothesized that neonatal cardiac magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) will correlate with BPD severity and predict short-term clinical outcomes, including need for PH therapies for infants with BPD.Methods: A total of 52 infants (31 severe BPD, 9 moderate BPD, and 12 with either mild or no BPD) were imaged between 39 and 47 weeks postmenstrual age on a neonatal-sized, neonatal ICU-sited 1.5-T magnetic resonance (MR) scanner. MR left ventricular eccentricity index (EI), main pulmonary artery-to-aorta (PA/AO) diameter ratio, and pulmonary arterial blood flow were determined. Echos obtained for clinical indications were reviewed. MRI and echo indices were compared with BPD severity and clinical outcomes, including length of stay (LOS), duration of respiratory support, respiratory support at discharge, and PH therapy.Measurements and Main Results: PA/AO ratio increased with BPD severity. Increased PA/AO ratio, MR-EI, and echo-EIs were associated with increased LOS and duration of respiratory support. No correlation was seen between pulmonary arterial blood flow and BPD outcomes. Controlling for gestational age, birth weight, and BPD severity, MR-EI was associated with LOS and duration of respiratory support. Increased PA/AO ratio and MR-EI were associated with PH therapy during hospitalization and at discharge.Conclusions: MRI can provide important image-based measures of cardiac morphology that relate to disease severity and clinical outcomes in neonates with BPD.

Keywords: bronchopulmonary dysplasia; cardiac magnetic resonance imaging; neonatal lung disease; outcome prediction modeling; pulmonary hypertension.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / diagnostic imaging*
  • Hypertension, Pulmonary / physiopathology*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases / physiopathology*
  • Infant, Premature
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male