Taking your breath away: the influence of antenatal inflammation on fetal lung development

Monique Gerarda Mathieu Willems

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisInternal

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Each year, approximately 12,000 babies are born prematurely (i.e. before 37 weeks of pregnancy). One of the main risk factors for premature birth is intrauterine infection (chorioamnionitis). Due to intrauterine breathing movements, fetal lungs are in direct contact with infected amniotic fluid. The fetal lungs may become infected, too, which may result in lung damage and disruption of lung development with potentially lifelong effects. This dissertation has studied the inflammatory response of the lungs and the effects of this response on fetal lung function, structure and development parameters. This dissertation has also focussed on how various therapies can influence the inflammatory response and its harmful effects to protect fetal lung development. The main results were that immune therapy improves fetal lung function, and corticosteroid therapy can partially prevent disruption of lung development.
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Kramer, Boris, Supervisor
  • Delhaas, Tammo, Supervisor
  • Wolfs, Tim, Co-Supervisor
Award date16 Jun 2017
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Print ISBNs9789402806458
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • premature birth
  • chorioamnionitis
  • lung development

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