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Cystic disease/congenital anomalies

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Reviewers: Elliot Weisenberg, M.D. (see Reviewers page)
Revised: 25 August 2011, last major update August 2011
Copyright: (c) 2003-2011, PathologyOutlines.com, Inc.


● Complication of mechanical ventilation and oxygen therapy for treatment of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome
● Infants almost always < 1200 gram birth weight and < 30 weeks gestation
● Definition: requirement for supplemental oxygen for longer than 28 days of age, and a post-menstrual age of at least 36 weeks (eMedicine)


● Due to decreased alveolar septation and capillary derangement, secondary to arrested septation of lungs, due to therapy in the saccular stage of lung development
● Free radicals generated by oxygen therapy and inflammatory cytokines play a role in pathogenesis

Clinical features

● Incidence has fallen with use of surfactant therapy in premature infants for neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (Semin Perinatol 2006;30:171)
● Respiratory distress continues for months
● Patients have limited pulmonary reserve, develop repeated infections, often have pulmonary hypertension and develop cor pulmonale

Micro description

● Bronchiolar and interstitial fibrosis, compensatory emphysema of less damaged acini
● Inadequate alveolar development causes fewer but larger alveoli

Micro images

Severe fibrosis

Large alveoli

Virtual slides

Respiratory distress syndrome & bronchopulmonary dysplasia

Additional references

Semin Perinatol 2006;30:164

End of Lung-nontumor > Cystic disease/congenital anomalies > Bronchopulmonary dysplasia

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