Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia | Diagnosis & Treatment

How is bronchopulmonary dysplasia diagnosed?

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic disease and appears gradually, so your baby’s physician will consider several factors. Chest X-rays may show a bubbly, sponge-like appearance in affected lungs.

Your baby's physician will determine a course of treatment based on your baby's gestational age, overall health, the extent of the disease, your baby's tolerance for specific medications, procedures and therapies, and your opinion or preference.

What are the treatment options for BPD?

Treatment for BPD may include:

  • extra oxygen
  • mechanical ventilation with gradual weaning as your baby's lungs grow.
  • medications such as bronchodilators, which help open your baby's airways, and steroids, which will reduce inflammation.
  • limiting fluids, as excess fluid can worsen breathing ability
  • proper nutrition
  • immunization against lung infection by influenza

Some babies with BPD require mechanical ventilators for several months. Some will continue to require oxygen even after they leave the hospital, but most can be weaned by the end of their first year.