Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common chronic complication of extreme
preterm birth. The authors applied the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development,
and Evaluation (GRADE) methodology to pharmacologic therapies found to prevent BPD.
Caffeine and vitamin A are the only medications shown in high-quality studies to prevent
BPD without the risk of clinically important adverse effects. Dexamethasone is effective
for the prevention of BPD; but for many infants, the increased risks of hypertrophic
cardiomyopathy, gastrointestinal perforation, and cerebral palsy outweigh this benefit.
Several medications are currently under investigation for the prevention of BPD, but
few are novel agents.