Free radicals and diseases in premature infants

Antioxid Redox Signal. 2004 Feb;6(1):169-76. doi: 10.1089/152308604771978471.


Free radicals have been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide spectrum of human diseases. Premature infants are probably developmentally unprepared for extrauterine life in an oxygen-rich environment and exhibit a unique sensitivity to oxidant injury. Diseases associated with premature infants, including bronchopulmonary dysplasia, periventricular leukomalacia, intraventricular hemorrhage, retinopathy of prematurity, and necrotizing enterocolitis, have been linked to free radical-mediated cell and tissue injury. With the advent of therapies designed to combat the injurious effects of free radicals, the role of these highly reactive chemical molecules in the pathogenesis of neonatal diseases needs to be fully determined.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / etiology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / etiology
  • Free Radicals / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / metabolism*
  • Leukomalacia, Periventricular / etiology
  • Retinopathy of Prematurity / etiology


  • Free Radicals