Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is one of the few diseases in neonatal medicine that has continued to evolve since its first description about 50 years ago. Over these years, advancements in neonatal medicine such as antenatal steroids and exogenous surfactant therapy have significantly reduced neonatal mortality and lowered the limits of viability for preterm infants. Although the incidence of BPD continues to be high, especially in extremely low birth weight infants, the clinical picture has evolved into a milder disease with low mortality or significant morbidities. This new BPD is the result of complex interactions between altered alveolar and vascular development, injury by ante- and postnatal pathogenic factors, and reparative processes in the lung. There has been significant progress in our understanding of risk factors for BPD, but challenges persist in its definition, and in finding effective preventive strategies. There are promising developments with newer preventive interventions such as mesenchymal stem cells, exosomes, immunomodulators, and growth factors, but they are still in preclinical stage. The future challenges include finding ways to define BPD based on the severity of lung pathology, which can better predict long-term outcomes, development of early predictors of lung disease, and finding innovative and evidence-based preventive and management strategies.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Biology