Pelizzo G, Ballico M, Mimmi MC, Peiró JL, Marotta M, Federico C, Andreatta E, Nakib G, Sampaolesi M, Zambaiti E, Calcaterra V.

Multidiscip Respir Med. 2014 Nov 4;9(1):54.



Tracheal occlusion (TO) stimulates lung growth in fetuses affected with congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH) although the processes involved in lung maturation still remain unknown. The objective of this study was to evaluate the metabolomic profile of amniotic fluid (AF) following TO in fetal lamb model in order to obtain an indirect view of mechanisms involved in pulmonary reversal hypoplasia and biochemical maturity in response to fetal TO.


Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry was performed on lamb AF samples at: age I (70 days’ gestation); age II (102 days’ gestation); age III (136 days’ gestation). CDH was induced at age I and TO at age II.


Betaine, choline, creatinine were found significantly increased during gestation in the control group. The CDH group showed choline (p =0.007) and creatinine (p =0.004) decreases during pregnancy. In the TO group choline and creatinine profiles were restored.


Alveolar tissue and fetal global growth ameliorated after TO. Metabolomics provided useful information on biochemical details during lung maturation. Metabolomic profiling would help to identify the best time to perform TO, in order to increase survival of CDH affected patients.