Bronchopulmonary dysplasia in adults: Exploring pathogenesis and phenotype.

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DOI: 10.1002/ppul.26795


This review highlights both the longstanding impact of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) on the health of adult survivors of prematurity and the pressing need for prospective, longitudinal studies of this population. Conservatively, there are an estimated 1,000,000 survivors of BPD in the United States alone. Unfortunately, most of the available literature regarding outcomes of lung disease due to prematurity naturally focuses on pediatric patients in early or middle childhood, and the relative amount of literature on adult survivors is scant. As the number of adult survivors of BPD continues to increase, it is essential that both adult and pediatric pulmonologists have a comprehensive understanding of the pathophysiology and underlying disease process, including the molecular signaling pathways and pro-inflammatory modulators that contribute to the pathogenesis of BPD. We summarize the most common presenting symptoms for adults with BPD and identify the critical challenges adult pulmonologists face in managing the care of survivors of prematurity. Specifically, these challenges include the wide variability of the clinical presentation of adult patients, comorbid cardiopulmonary complications, and the paucity of longitudinal data available on these patients. Adult survivors of BPD have even required lung transplantation, indicating the high burden of morbidity that can result from premature birth and subsequent lung injury. In addition, we analyze the disparate symptoms and management approach to adults with "old" BPD versus "new" BPD. The aim of this review is to assist pulmonologists in understanding the underlying pathophysiology of BPD and to improve clinical recognition of this increasingly common pulmonary disease.

Journal Title

Pediatric pulmonology





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MeSH Keywords

Infant, Newborn; Adult; Female; Child; Humans; Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia; Prospective Studies; Lung; Infant, Premature; Premature Birth; Phenotype


adult survivors of prematurity; bronchopulmonary dysplasia

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