Pulmonary hypoplasia or aplasia is a rare condition that is characterized by is incomplete development of the lungs, resulting in an abnormally low number or size of bronchopulmonary segments or alveoli.
It is a congenital malformation, which mostly occurs secondary to other fetal abnormalities that interfere with normal development of the lungs.
These abnormalities include :
Congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH)
Pleural effusions (fluid buildup around the lungs)
Bladder outlet obstruction (BOO) or severe oligohydramnios
Pulmonary hypoplasia is typically detected through a routine ultrasound or MRI.
Depending on the size of the fetal lungs and the cause of the pulmonary hypoplasia, different treatment plans can be recommended.In some cases fetal surgery can help reverse the effect of the pulmonary hypoplasia while the baby is still developing in the womb.