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Plasma Asymmetric Dimethylarginine Levels Are Increased in Neonates with Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia-Associated Pulmonary Hypertension

The Journal of Pediatrics
DOI: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2014.09.004
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Objective To test the hypothesis that levels of the endogenous inhibitor of nitric oxide production, asymmetric dimethylarginine (ADMA), would be greater in preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD)-associated pulmonary hypertension (PH) than in infants with BPD alone. Study design A case-control study of 23 patients with both BPD and PH (cases) and 95 patients with BPD but no evidence of PH (controls). Levels of ADMA were compared between cases and controls by t test. Results Patients with both BPD and PH had greater plasma levels of ADMA than patients with BPD alone (P = .04). In samples drawn before 28 days of life, greater levels of ADMA were again found in cases compared with controls (P = .02). The plasma arginine-to-ADMA ratio was lower in cases than in controls (P = .03), suggesting a greater likelihood of inhibition of nitric oxide production in patients with both BPD and PH than in patients with BPD alone. Conclusion In this neonatal BPD cohort, ADMA levels are increased in patients with BPD who develop PH. We speculate that ADMA may be both a biomarker and a potential therapeutic target for preterm infants with BPD-associated PH.

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