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Bronchoplumonary Dysplasia Symptoms & Diagnosis


If your infant experiences any of these symptoms do not assume it is due to BPD. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions.

  • Rapid, shallow breathing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Retractions—with each breath, the chest appears to sink in between the ribs or under the ribcage
  • Cough
  • See-saw breathing–movement of the chest and stomach in opposite directions with each breath
  • Wheezing or noisy breathing
  • Wet or cracking sound in the lungs, heard with a stethoscope
  • Raising or stretching the neck to push more air into the lungs
  • Poor posture of the trunk, shoulders, and neck
  • Bluish color to the skin
  • Slower than average growth rate


Your doctor will review your child’s medical history, and may perform the following tests:

  • Arterial blood gas test —a small amount of blood is drawn to determine how much oxygen is in it
  • Chest x-ray —radiation is used to take a picture of the inside of the chest; done to check for respiratory problems
  • Chest CT scan —a type of x-ray, which uses a computer to create images of structures inside the chest; performed to check for respiratory problems.
  • Pulse-oximetry monitoring—a piece of tape containing an oxygen sensor is placed on the baby’s foot; it is connected to a monitor that tells the doctor how well the lungs are working

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Copyright © 2023 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.

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