Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease that affects 40-60% of infants born prematurely. It is characterized by a chronic need for supplemental oxygen and a decrease in lung function. The cause is believed to be a combination of premature birth, mechanical ventilation, infection, inflammation and injury from exposure to elevated oxygen concentrations.

Endothelial Progenitor Cell (EPC)

Endothelial Progenitor Cell (EPC) is a stem cell found circulating in the blood or as part of a blood vessel that has the capacity to turn into or differentiate into multiple different kinds of blood vessels.

Nitric Oxide (NO)

A molecule of gas that is comprised of one atom of nitrogen and one atom of oxygen. The recognition of the role of this molecule in the regulation of blood vessels and the nervous system was the focus of a Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine in 1998. Research has proven the crucial role the gas plays in such fundamental biological processes as regulation of blood pressure, functioning and malfunctioning of the immune system, and activation of mechanisms in the central nervous system affecting everything from gastric motility to memory to behavior. The use of nitric oxide as a therapy for the treatment of pulmonary hypertension in newborns was pioneered in Colorado and has resulted in the survival of numerous newborns with this life threatening condition.

Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)

Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) occurs when a newborn’s circulation system does not adapt to breathing outside the womb. While a fetus is in the womb, it gets its oxygen from its mother’s placenta through the umbilical cords, so the lungs need little blood supply. There is high blood pressure in the lungs, so blood in the pulmonary artery is sent away from the lungs to the other organs through a fetal blood vessel, called the ductus arteriosus. When a baby is born and takes its first breaths, the blood pressure in their lungs falls and there is an increased blood flow to the lungs, where oxygen and carbon dioxide are exchanged. The blood is then returned to the heart and pumped back out to the body. The ductus arteriosus constricts and permanently closes in the first day of life. However, in babies with PPHN, the pressure in the lungs remains high and the ductus arterious remains open, allowing blood to be directed away from the lungs. PPHN is a rare, but life-threatening condition. It occurs most often in full-term or post-term babies who have had a difficult birth, or conditions such as infection or birth asphyxia, in which a baby receives an inadequate amount of oxygen during delivery.


Refers to the growth of blood vessels or the vasculature.


Small air sacs in the lung where oxygen is taken up into the blood and carbon dioxide is released.