Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) is a topic covered in the Select 5-Minute Pediatrics Topics.

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  • A chronic lung disease (CLD) of premature infants defined as the need for supplemental O2 for 28 days and a need for supplemental oxygen +/− positive pressure at 36 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA).
  • It is categorized as mild, moderate, and severe, based on the following at 36 weeks PMA or discharge (whichever comes first).
    • Mild: breathing room air
    • Moderate: need for <30% oxygen
    • Severe: need for >30% oxygen, with or without positive pressure ventilation or continuous positive pressure


BPD is the most common CLD in infants. Infants with birth weight (BW) <1,250 g account for 97% of all patients with BPD. Prevalence based on BW:

  • 501–750 g: 42%
  • 751–1,000 g: 25%
  • 1,001–1,250 g: 11%
  • 1,251–1,500 g: 5%

Risk Factors

  • Infants with gestational age (GA) <28 weeks and BW <1,000 g
  • Invasive ventilation
  • Exposure to hyperoxia
  • Sepsis (in utero and postnatal; local/systemic)
  • Genetic predisposition

General Prevention

  • Prevention of premature birth
  • Noninvasive ventilation approaches
  • Avoidance of hyperoxia
  • Decreasing perinatal infections


  • Multifactorial with gene–environmental interactions
  • Antenatal (AN)—chorioamnionitis
  • Postnatal (PN)—ventilator injury, hyperoxia, and sepsis
  • AN and PN factors act on a genetically predisposed immature lung, causing release of multiple molecular mediators of inflammation, resulting in activation of cellular death pathways, followed by resolution or repair.
  • Repair of the injured developing lung results in decreased alveolarization and dysregulated pulmonary vasculature, the pathologic hallmarks of BPD.

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