Purpose of review: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) remains the most common severe complication of preterm birth. A number of recent animal models and clinical studies provide new information about pathophysiology and treatment.
Recent findings: The epidemiology of BPD continues to demonstrate that birth weight and gestational age are most predictive of BPD. Correlations of BPD with chorioamnionitis are clouded by the complexity of the fetal exposures to inflammation. Excessive oxygen use in preterm infants can increase the risk of BPD but low saturation targets may increase death. Numerous recent trials demonstrate that many preterm infants can be initially stabilized after delivery with continuous positive airway response (CPAP) and then be selectively treated with surfactant for respiratory distress syndrome. The growth of the lungs of the infant with BPD through childhood remains poorly characterized.
Summary: Recent experiences in neonatology suggest that combining less invasive care strategies that avoid excessive oxygen and ventilation, decrease postnatal infections, and optimize nutrition may decrease the incidence and severity of BPD.