The use of inhaled corticosteroids in chronically ventilated preterm infants

Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2017 Oct;22(5):296-301. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2017.07.005. Epub 2017 Jul 30.


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most usual reason for preterm infants to require chronic mechanical ventilation. Inflammation is a key factor underlying the lung injury leading to the development of BPD, and the rationale for use of corticosteroids in the management of ventilator-dependent preterm infants is based on their anti-inflammatory effects. Because systemic corticosteroids are associated with significant adverse effects in preterm infants, attention has turned to the use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) as a potentially safer therapy for BPD. The aim of this review is to discuss what is known about the efficacy and safety of ICS in chronically ventilated preterm infants. However, this has been a challenge since there is a paucity of high-grade evidence for the use of ICS in these patients. Thus, there is a real need for well-powered randomized controlled trials examining short- and long-term outcomes of ICS use in this population.

Keywords: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; Mechanical ventilation; Neonatal intensive care; Prematurity; Pulmonary function.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / administration & dosage
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / prevention & control*
  • Glucocorticoids / administration & dosage
  • Glucocorticoids / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / drug therapy*
  • Respiration, Artificial*


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Glucocorticoids