Background In an experimental mouse model we showed that ceramides play a role in the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and are a potential target for therapeutic intervention. We investigated whether ceramides are detectable in tracheal aspirates (TAs) of preterm infants and differ between infants with or without BPD. Methods Infants born 32 weeks of gestational age in need of mechanical ventilation in the first week of life were included. TAs were obtained directly after intubation and at day 1, 3, 5, 7, and 14. Ceramide concentrations were measured by tandem mass spectrometry. At 36 weeks postmenstrual age BPD was defined as having had 28 days supplemental oxygen. Results 122 infants were included, of which 14 died and 41 developed BPD. All infants showed an increase in ceramides after the first day of intubation. The ceramide profile differed significantly between preterm infants who did and did not develop BPD. However, the ceramide profile had no additional predictive value for BPD development over GA at birth, birth weight and total days of mechanical ventilation. Conclusions Ceramides are measurable in TAs of preterm born infants and may be an early marker for BPD development.

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Journal PLoS ONE
van Mastrigt, E, Zweekhorst, S. (Salomé), Bol, B.S, Tibboel, J, van Rosmalen, J.M, Samsom, J.N, … Pijnenburg, M.W.H. (2018). Ceramides in tracheal aspirates of preterm infants: Marker for bronchopulmonary dysplasia. PLoS ONE, 13(1). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0185969