Comparisons and Limitations of Current Definitions of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia for the Prematurity and Respiratory Outcomes Program

Poindexter, B. B.; Feng, R.; Schmidt, B.; Aschner, J. L.; Ballard, R. A.; Hamvas, A.; Reynolds, A. M.; Shaw, P. A.; Jobe, A. H.

Ann Am Thorac Soc. 2015 Sep 24; 12(12):1822-30


RATIONALE: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia is the most common morbidity of prematurity, but the validity and utility of commonly used definitions have been questioned. OBJECTIVES: To compare three commonly used definitions of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in a contemporary prospective, multicenter observational cohort of extremely preterm infants. METHODS: At 36 weeks postmenstrual age, the following definitions of bronchopulmonary dysplasia were applied to surviving infants with and without imputation: need for supplemental oxygen (Shennan definition), National Institutes of Health Workshop definition, and "physiologic" definition after a room-air challenge. MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: Of 765 survivors assessed at 36 weeks, bronchopulmonary dysplasia was diagnosed in 40.8, 58.6, and 32.0% of infants, respectively, with the Shennan, workshop and physiologic definitions. The number of unclassified infants was lowest with the workshop definition (2.1%) and highest with the physiologic definition (16.1%). After assigning infants discharged home in room air before 36 weeks as no bronchopulmonary dysplasia, the modified Shennan definition compared favorably to the workshop definition, with 2.9% unclassified infants. Newer management strategies with nasal cannula flows up to 4 L/min or more and 0.21 FiO2 at 36 weeks obscured classification of bronchopulmonary dysplasia status in 12.4% of infants. CONCLUSIONS: Existing definitions of bronchopulmonary dysplasia differ with respect to ease of data collection and number of unclassifiable cases. Contemporary changes in management of infants, such as use of high-flow nasal cannula, limit application of existing definitions and may result in misclassification. A contemporary definition of bronchopulmonary dysplasia that correlates with respiratory morbidity in childhood is needed. Clinical trial registered with (NCT01435187).

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