Congenital pulmonary airway malformation (CPAM)

Congenital pulmonary airway malformations (CPAM) are lesions on the lung that are present at birth. CPAM can cause physical or developmental problems.

What are congenital pulmonary airway malformations (CPAM)?

CPAM is a rare, genetic condition (present at birth). Babies with congenital pulmonary airway malformations are born with benign (non-cancerous) lumps, lesions or cysts (fluid-filled sacs) on one of their lungs. Depending on the size and number of the lesions, it can cause physical and developmental symptoms.

Risk factors

Previously known as congenital cystic adenomatoid malformation (CCAM), this condition tends to affect males more than females. CPAM typically occurs in only one lung, or part of one lung.

What are the different types of congenital pulmonary airway malformations (CPAM)?

CPAM is separated into three types that are defined by the number of cysts present:

Type I lesions

Type I lesions occurs when there are one to four large cysts present in the lung(s). Outcomes are favorable for this type, and it makes up about 50 percent of the cases.

Type II lesions

Type II lesions occurs when numerous cysts are present in the lung that are smaller in size. This type is associated with other problems, like cardiac, genitourinary (genital/urinary), hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain), and skeletal issues, that will affect quality of life. This type typically makes up about 40 percent of cases.

Type III lesions

Type III lesions occur when larges masses on the lung(s) cause other organs to shift (mediastinal shift), much like pulmonary sequestration. The masses may impact heart, windpipe and lung capabilities. This occurs in about 10 percent of cases.

What are the signs and symptoms of congenital pulmonary airway malformations (CPAM)?

Symptoms will vary between children and may not become apparent until they are adults. Some physical and developmental signs can also lead to further complications.

This includes:

What are the causes of congenital pulmonary airway malformations (CPAM)?

The cause of CPAM is unknown. Research does show that sometime during the development of the fetus in the mother's womb, the lung tissue will form abnormally, and the baby will be born with a lump or cyst.