Lung disorders among children are commonly associated with complications at birth or to a complication that arises out of an infection in childhood. For some children, however, the complication of the bronchial system and respiratory system may be attributed to a congenital defect.
Congenital alveolar capillary dysplasia is a complication of the respiratory system, affect the structural development of the lungs. For infants born with this lung complication, the marked complication is in the misalignment of the pulmonary veins although this is not the only complication that may arise. In addition to complications in the development of the pulmonary veins, children born with congenital alveolar capillary dysplasia experience persistent pulmonary hypertension and often experience early death as a result of uncontrolled pulmonary hypertension.
At the time your infant is born, vital signs are tested. When there is a neonatal complication involving pulmonary hypertension, the medical staff will refer your newborn to the neonatal intensive care unit. It is within the NICU that treatment for pulmonary hypertension is initiated. When your child fails to respond to those treatments, further investigation into congenital alveolar capillary dysplasia may be warranted.
In some newborns, the complications with congenital alveolar capillary dysplasia may not be readily apparent at birth. While most children do develop clear symptoms in the 24 hours after birth, there are some that may take as long as 40 days to exhibit respiratory distress and complications with pulmonary hypertension. Therefore, if your child experiences any respiratory complications, or abnormal pulmonary hypertension, in the first two months of life, it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible.
If your child is confirmed as suffering from congenital alveolar capillary dysplasia, it is necessary that your pediatrician also investigate for the possibility of gastrointestinal complications as well. In many children, the complications of the respiratory and pulmonary disorder often fall into a co morbid risk for gastrointestinal abnormalities. In fact, intestinal dysmotility is often a clear indication of gastrointestinal complications including the risk for duodenal atresia. If confirmed as also suffering from a gastrointestinal complication, a referral to a pediatric gastroenterologist may be necessary, in addition to continued care and management by a pediatric pulmonologist.
As with any congenital complication, it is important to seek medical attention early when the complications and symptoms arise. While many newborns are diagnosed with these complications immediately after birth, resulting in the need for NICU care, there are some infants that do not exhibit complications for as long as six weeks after birth. For this reason, when symptoms of respiratory distress or gastrointestinal complications are persistent, ask your pediatrician about the possible diagnosis of congenital alveolar capillary dysplasia and the co-morbid risk for GI abnormalities.