Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Lung function abnormalities in infants developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  1. Caroline May1,
  2. Caroline Kennedy1,
  3. Anthony D Milner1,
  4. Gerrard F Rafferty1,
  5. Janet L Peacock2,
  6. Anne Greenough1
  1. 1Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, MRC-Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, King's College London, London, UK
  2. 2Department of Primary Care and Public Health Sciences, King's College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Anne Greenough, Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, MRC-Asthma UK Centre in Allergic Mechanisms of Asthma, King's College Hospital, 4th Floor, Golden Jubilee Wing, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8RS, UK; anne.greenough{at}


Objective To determine if infants developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), particularly mild BPD, initially had minimal lung function abnormalities, which then worsened throughout the neonatal period.

Design Prospective observational study.

Setting Tertiary neonatal intensive care unit.

Patients 74 infants with a median gestational age of 30 weeks (24–32) and birth weight of 1200 g (474–2000) were studied; 35 had no BPD, 12 developed mild BPD and 23 developed moderate/severe BPD.

Interventions BPD was diagnosed in infants who were oxygen dependent beyond 28 days after birth.

Main Outcome Measures Lung function was assessed by measurement of functional residual capacity (FRC) by helium gas dilution and compliance and resistance of the respiratory system. Measurements were attempted on days 3, 5, 7, 14, 21 and 28.

Results Infants developing BPD, particularly moderate/severe BPD, had lower mean FRC (p=0.009) and mean compliance (p=0.005) throughout the 28-day period than those who did not develop BPD. Lung function improved over the neonatal period in all three groups, but the rate of improvement in FRC (p=0.004) and compliance (p=0.002) results over the first 28 days varied by BPD status, being greatest in infants developing moderate/severe BPD (all p values <0.05).

Conclusions Overall, in infants who did and did not develop BPD, lung function improved throughout the neonatal period. Infants with more severe initial lung disease were more likely to develop moderate/severe BPD.

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Funding CM was funded by the Charles Wolfson Charitable Trust.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval This study was conducted with the approval of the King's College Hospital Research Ethics Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.