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Complications and long-term pulmonary outcomes of bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Sharon McGrath-Morrow, MD, MBA
Joseph M Collaco, MD, MPH, MBA, PhD
Section Editors
Gregory Redding, MD
Joseph A Garcia-Prats, MD
Deputy Editor
Alison G Hoppin, MD


Despite important advances in perinatal care and a steady decline in mortality rates among very low birth weight (VLBW) infants (<1500 g) during the past two decades, bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) remains a major complication of premature birth and is a significant cause of long-term morbidity. Prematurity and low birth weight remain major risk factors for the development of BPD [1]. Other contributors to the development of chronic lung injury include swallowing dysfunction, gastrointestinal reflux, and poor nutrition, which are common comorbidities in infants born very prematurely. Because of its chronic nature and multifactorial causes, many infants and children with BPD will require multifaceted and multidisciplinary management well beyond the first year of life. There are no established guidelines for the management of BPD after initial discharge from the hospital.

The long-term consequences of BPD on the respiratory health of older children and adults are not fully described, especially because changes in the care of premature infants have resulted in important changes in the clinical and pathological characteristics of BPD during recent decades. Although BPD tends to improve with advancing age, it can lead to lifelong consequences [2,3].

The long-term pulmonary outcomes of BPD are reviewed here. Other aspects of BPD are discussed in separate topic reviews:

Diagnosis and management of BPD during infancy:

(See "Pathogenesis and clinical features of bronchopulmonary dysplasia".)


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