Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Symptoms & Causes

LIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke ThisLIke This

In-Depth

What causes chronic lung disease?

Lung injury and scarring, which may result in difficulty breathing and increased oxygen needs, can be caused by any of the following:

  • Prematurity, when your baby is born before the lungs, and especially the air sacs, are fully developed.
  • Oxygen use—high concentrations of oxygen can damage the cells of the lungs
  • Mechanical ventilation. Some premature babies require breathing machines, suctioning of the airways, and the use of a endotracheal tube, which is placed in the trachea and connected to a breathing machine.

What are the risk factors for developing CLD?

Chronic lung disease may occur if your child . . .

  • Is born at less than 34 weeks gestation
  • Has a birthweight of less than 4 pounds, 6.4 ounces
  • Has a family history of asthma
  • Other associated conditions include:
  • Pulmonary interstitial emphysema, a problem in which air leaks out of the airways into the spaces between the small air sacs of the lungs
  • Patent ductus arteriosus, a connection between the blood vessels of the heart and lungs that doesn’t close (as it should) after birth
  • Maternal womb infection

What are the symptoms of chronic lung disease?

Each baby may experience different symptoms, but common symptoms include:

  • Respiratory distress (rapid breathing, flaring of the nostrils, chest retractions
  • Continued need for mechanical ventilation or oxygen after your premature baby reaches 36 weeks gestation.
Boston Children’s is so much more than a hospital—it’s a community of researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, teachers, patients and families, all working together to make the impossible possible. ”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337

Close