What is it?

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a form of chronic lung disease affecting newborns, most often those born prematurely and needing oxygen therapy. In BPD, the lungs and the airways (bronchi) are damaged, causing tissue destruction (dysplasia) in the tiny air sacs of the lung (alveoli).

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Additional names

This group contains additional names:
- Perinatal Chronic Respiratory Disease

Signs & symptoms

Signs and symptoms of bronchopulmonary dysplasia include:
- Breathing that is fast or difficult
- Shortness of breath
- Pauses in breathing that last for a few seconds (apnea)
- Nostrils flare while breathing
- Grunting while breathing
- Wheezing
- Skin pulling in between the ribs or collar bones (retractions)
- Bluish color of the skin (cyanosis) – due to low oxygen levels in the blood


To diagnose BPD, doctors consider:
- how early a baby was born
- how long the baby gets oxygen therapy
- the oxygen levels the baby gets
- the pressure levels the baby gets to flow air into the lungs
Chest X-rays and an echocardiogram also can help doctors look for the condition and see how severe it is.


The goal of treatment is to allow the lungs to heal and grow. Treatment for this chronic lung disease of prematurity can include:
- Mechanical ventilator (breathing machine) – for long-term use, a tracheostomy is needed (a surgically placed breathing tube in the windpipe)
- Oxygen
- Nutrition therapy to ensure the baby is getting enough nutrition to grow properly. Some babies will need a g-tube (gastrostomy tube) to allow nutrition to go through a tube directly into the stomach.
- Medications: Bronchodilators – to improve the flow of air through the lungs. Diuretics – to reduce extra fluid o Antibiotics – to control infections and prevent pneumonia. Steroids – to decrease swelling in the lungs. Pulmonary Vasodilators - to improve blood flow to the lungs.

☝️ This is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult with your physician before making any medical decision.

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