Congenital pulmonary airway malformations (CPAM), previously known as congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM), is a non-cancerous, cystic mass that forms in the lung tissue of a fetus. It usually is located in one lung and replaces part of one lobe of the lung but does not function like normal lung tissue. It is rare, it is not hereditary, and there is no known cause. With careful monitoring via ultrasound, most babies do well and see normal lung development and function.
The cyst grows with the fetus and seems large at first, but its growth begins to slow in the second trimester. By the time the baby reaches full term, the CPAM often is very small and almost undetectable before birth, and the outlook for a normal life is excellent. However, in a small number of fetuses, the CPAM may grow rapidly and become life-threatening before birth, compressing the heart and lungs. In this case, doctors may perform fetal surgery or early delivery. Sometimes the malformation is detected in adults, especially if the abnormality is small. It is usually found after the adult reports recurrent chest infections.
The Maternal-Fetal Medicine (MFM) specialists at the University of Alabama Birmingham Women & Infants Center are available on-site 24 hours a day to manage problems associated with high-risk pregnancies. Our physicians are experts at managing conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, Rh sensitization, multiple births, premature delivery risk, and other potential complications.
MFM specialists at the UAB have access to treatments that often are not yet available elsewhere, which can reduce the chance of a recurrent preterm birth by one-third to one-half. We are one of the nation’s most advanced MFM programs, as evidenced by being one of only 14 centers participating in the national Maternal-Fetal Medicine Units Network for high-risk pregnancy research. To support our research we developed Alabama’s first OB/GYN Research and Diagnostic Laboratory, which implemented the first comprehensive first-trimester screening program and the first integrated first- and second-trimester screening program for fetal abnormalities.
Patients at UAB have access to the most up-to-date care, including first-trimester diagnosis, genetic testing and counseling, and 4D-ultrasound and fetal imaging. UAB’s team includes only board-certified MFM specialists as well as specialists with genetics certification. Our program also includes a personal labor nurse and three anesthesia specialists.
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