20 April 2023

DDDS23: Meet the speaker

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Dr Steven Abman

Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials in PH Groups 2 and 3: What are the Similarities and Differences in Pathogenesis and Pathophysiology- Group3, Paediatrics:

Despite major advances in the development and implementation of PH-targeted therapies for diverse etiologies of adults with PH, clinical trials in paediatric PH have been lacking, especially beyond Group 1 disease. Recent studies have demonstrated that nearly half of paediatric PH subjects enrolled in a large multicentre registry were classified as Group 3 disease, which was predominantly due to children with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) and congenital diaphragmatic hernia, as well as other rare developmental lung disorders. Despite high mortality in infants with Group 3 disease, current diagnostic and therapeutic strategies remain poorly defined and are based largely on small case series and clinical experience.   Recent studies have characterized distinct phenotypes in preterm infants with PH that includes severe PH after birth and delayed pulmonary vascular transition, and that these infants are at high risk for developing BPD and BPD-associated PH. The identification of antenatal and perinatal risk determinants of pulmonary vascular disease, along with early screening and diagnostic studies for PH as based on serial echocardiograms, may provide unique opportunities for developing primary and secondary strategies to prevent BPD-associated PH and related cardiovascular sequelae. Despite the challenges of developing clinical trials in this complex population, studies exploring the effects of early interventions to lower the high mortality and related morbidities of PH in preterm infants provide unique opportunities.

About Dr Abman:

Dr Steven Abman is Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Pediatric Heart Lung Center (PHLC) at the University of Colorado Denver Anschutz School of Medicine and Children’s Hospital Colorado. Throughout his career, Dr Abman has maintained strong translational research and clinical interests in neonatal lung injury, lung vascular development, pulmonary hypertension, chronic lung disease in the newborn (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, BPD), pulmonary hypertension, and related topics. He has received uninterrupted NIH-funding for research and training grants throughout his academic career. Dr Abman founded the Pediatric Pulmonary Hypertension Network (PPHNet) and was one of the co-founders of the BPD Collaborative. He is currently a co-leader of the PVRI Pediatric Task Force. He recently completed his tenure as President of the American Pediatric Society. His work has been recognized through several national awards as recipient of the Outstanding Investigator Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (1998), the E. Mead Johnson Award of the SPR (1999), the Distinguished Achievement Award of the American Thoracic Society (2015), the Maureen Andrew Mentorship Award from the SPR (2015), the Mary Ellen Avery Award (2016) from the APS and SPR, and theArvo Yllpo Medal Award from Finland. 

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