Echocardiography can detect pulmonary hypertension and bronchopulmonary dysplasia earlier than previously thought, according to a study conducted on newborn mice. The findings suggest the disorders can be treated sooner and reduce their severity.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine induced oxidative stress and inflammation, the two main factors contributing to PH development, in a group of newborn mice by exposing them to very high levels of oxygen (70%) for 14 days. A control group was exposed to 21% oxygen or regular air.

They then performed echocardiography tests, and saw that the young mice exposed to hyperoxia (high oxygen levels) developed oxidative stress in the lungs, inflammation, and PH. In addition, their lungs highly resembled those of infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia and PH.