MediFind
Condition

Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

Condition 101

What is the definition of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a long-term (chronic) lung condition that affects newborn babies who were either put on a breathing machine after birth or were born very early (prematurely).

What are the alternative names for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?

BPD; Chronic lung disease - children; CLD - children

What are the causes for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?

BPD occurs in very ill infants who received high levels of oxygen for a long period. BPD can also occur in infants who were on a breathing machine (ventilator).

BPD is more common in infants born early (prematurely), whose lungs were not fully developed at birth.

Risk factors include:

  • Congenital heart disease (problem with the heart's structure and function that is present at birth)
  • Prematurity, usually in infants born before 32 weeks gestation
  • Severe respiratory or lung infection

Risk of severe BPD has decreased in recent years.

What are the symptoms for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?

Symptoms may include any of the following:

  • Bluish skin color (cyanosis)
  • Cough
  • Rapid breathing
  • Shortness of breath

What are the current treatments for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?

IN THE HOSPITAL

Infants who have breathing problems are often put on a ventilator. This is a breathing machine that sends pressure to the baby's lungs to keep them inflated and to deliver more oxygen. As the baby's lungs develop, the pressure and oxygen are slowly reduced. The baby is weaned from the ventilator. The baby may continue to get oxygen by a mask or nasal tube for several weeks or months.

Infants with BPD are usually fed by tubes inserted into the stomach (NG tube). These babies need extra calories due to the effort of breathing. To keep their lungs from filling with fluid, their fluid intake may need to be limited. They may also be given medicines (diuretics) that remove water from the body. Other medicines can include corticosteroids, bronchodilators, and surfactant. Surfactant is a slippery, soapy-like substance in the lungs that helps the lungs fill with air and keeps the air sacs from deflating.

Parents of these infants need emotional support. This is because BPD takes time to get better and the infant may need to stay in the hospital for a long time.

AT HOME

Infants with BPD may need oxygen therapy for weeks to months after leaving the hospital. Follow your health care provider's instructions to ensure your baby gets enough nutrition during recovery. Your baby may need tube feedings or special formulas.

It is very important to prevent your baby from getting colds and other infections, such as respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). RSV can cause a severe lung infection, especially in a baby with BPD.

A simple way to help prevent RSV infection is to wash your hands often. Follow these measures:

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap before touching your baby. Tell others to wash their hands, too, before touching your baby.
  • Ask others to avoid contact with your baby if they have a cold or fever, or ask them to wear a mask.
  • Be aware that kissing your baby can spread RSV.
  • Try to keep young children away from your baby. RSV is very common among young children and spreads easily from child-to-child.
  • DO NOT smoke inside your house, car, or anywhere near your baby. Exposure to tobacco smoke increases the risk of RSV illness.

Parents of babies with BPD should avoid crowds during outbreaks of RSV. Outbreaks are often reported by local news media.

Your baby's provider may prescribe the medicine palivizumab (Synagis) to prevent RSV infection in your baby. Follow instructions on how to give your baby this medicine.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?

Babies with BPD get better slowly over time. Oxygen therapy may be needed for many months. Some infants have long-term lung damage and require oxygen and breathing support, such as with a ventilator. Some infants with this condition may not survive.

What are the possible complications for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?

Babies who have had BPD are at greater risk for repeated respiratory infections, such as pneumonia, bronchiolitis, and RSV that require a hospital stay.

Other possible complications in babies who have had BPD are:

  • Developmental problems
  • Poor growth
  • Pulmonary hypertension (high blood pressure in the arteries of the lungs)
  • Long-term lung and breathing problems such as scarring or bronchiectasis

When should I contact a medical professional for Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?

If your baby had BPD, watch for any breathing problems. Call your child's provider if you see any signs of a respiratory infection.

How do I prevent Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia?

To help prevent BPD:

  • Prevent premature delivery whenever possible. If you are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant, get prenatal care to help keep you and your baby healthy.
  • If your baby is on breathing support, ask the provider how soon your baby can be weaned from the ventilator.
  • Your baby may receive surfactant to help keep the lungs open.

REFERENCES

Kamath-Rayne BD, Jobe AH. Fetal lung development and surfactant. In: Resnik R, Lockwood CJ, Moore TR, Greene MF, Copel JA, Silver RM, eds. Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 16.

McGrath-Morrow SA, Collaco JM. Bronchopulmonary dysplasia. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 444.

Roosevelt GE. Pediatric respiratory emergencies: diseases of the lungs. In: Walls RM, Hockberger RS, Gausche-Hill M, eds. Rosen's Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 169.

Latest Research

Latest Advance
Study
  • Condition: Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)
  • Journal: Nutrients
  • Treatment Used: Postnatal Systemic Steroids
  • Number of Patients: 17,621
  • Published —
This study evaluated the safety and effectiveness of postnatal steroids for the treatment of preterm infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).
Latest Advance
Study
  • Condition: Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of Newborn
  • Journal: BMC pediatrics
  • Treatment Used: Sildenafil
  • Number of Patients: 1
  • Published —
This case reported on the use of sildenafil for persistent pulmonary hypertension of a newborn.
Latest Advance
Study
  • Condition: Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD)
  • Journal: Pediatrics international : official journal of the Japan Pediatric Society
  • Treatment Used: Mesenchymal Stem Cells (MSCs)
  • Published —
This article discusses mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) for the prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in preterm infants who have been treated with supplemental oxygen and mechanical ventilation.
Latest Advance
Study
  • Condition: Prevention of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) in Prematurity
  • Journal: Neonatal network : NN
  • Treatment Used: Pharmacotherapy
  • Published —
This article discusses pharmocotherapy for the prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in prematurity.

Clinical Trials

Clinical Trial
Device
  • Status: Recruiting
  • Study Type: Device
  • Participants: 20
  • Start Date: February 6, 2020
Forced Oscillometry in Infants With Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia