An update on bronchopulmonary dysplasia: is there a relationship to the development of childhood asthma?

Med Hypotheses. 2003 Oct;61(4):495-502. doi: 10.1016/s0306-9877(03)00204-4.


There appears to be some interesting commonalities between asthma and BPD. The prevalence of both conditions is on the rise, both conditions tend to cluster in families, and they share wheezing phenotypes, i.e., mild-moderate reversible airway obstruction and a similar degree of response to pharmacological provocation. Furthermore, significant overlap exists with regard to the presence of elevated concentrations of airway inflammatory mediators concurrent with reduced levels of anti-inflammatory activity, in serum and BAL fluid, as well as histological evidence for airway 'remodelling'. Both BPD and asthma are characterized by increased smooth muscle contraction, and in asthma, the smooth muscle may be involved in the primary development of the asthmatic phenotype. Since wheezing is a common finding among children with BPD, an interesting question is whether BPD is a phenotypic variant of asthma?

MeSH terms

  • Asthma / complications
  • Asthma / diagnosis*
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / diagnosis*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscle, Smooth / cytology
  • Phenotype