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Pathogenesis and clinical features of bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Eric C Eichenwald, MD
Ann R Stark, MD
Section Editors
Gregory Redding, MD
Richard Martin, MD
Deputy Editor
Melanie S Kim, MD


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), also known as neonatal chronic lung disease (CLD), is an important cause of respiratory illness in preterm newborns that results in significant morbidity and mortality.

The pathogenesis and clinical features of BPD are reviewed here. Management, prognosis, and potential strategies to prevent BPD are discussed separately. (See "Management of bronchopulmonary dysplasia" and "Outcome of infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia" and "Prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia".)


Different degrees of prematurity are defined by gestational age (GA) and weight, which is calculated from the first day of the mother's last period, or birth weight (BW). Data on bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is often based upon the following classification of preterm infants who are categorized by their birth weight or GA as follows:

Low birth weight (LBW) – BW less than 2500 g

Very low birth weight (VLBW) – BW less than 1500 g

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Literature review current through: Sep 2017. | This topic last updated: Sep 26, 2017.
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