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Prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Ann R Stark, MD
Eric C Eichenwald, MD
Section Editors
Richard Martin, MD
Gregory Redding, 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. Factors implicated in the pathogenesis of BPD include prematurity, and inflammation caused by mechanical injury, oxygen toxicity, and infection. Many strategies have been attempted to prevent BPD. Success has been limited, in part, because the etiology of the disorder is multifactorial and multiple interventions are needed.

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


Prematurity — Different degrees of prematurity are defined by gestational age (GA), which is calculated from the first day of the mother's last period, or birth weight (BW). Data on BPD is often based upon the following classification of preterm infants categorized by BW 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: Jun 19, 2017.
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