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Editorial
November 2014

Vitamin A Shortage and Risk of Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

Author Affiliations
  • 1Division of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
JAMA Pediatr. 2014;168(11):995-996. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2014.1416

Bronchopulmonary dysplasia is the most common serious pulmonary morbidity in premature infants.1 Premature infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia are at increased risk of death, and survivors have life-long morbidities.13 Despite the increased survival of extremely premature infants, bronchopulmonary dysplasia remains a major morbidity.1,2,4 Approximately 40% of infants born between 22 and 28 weeks’ gestation are diagnosed with bronchopulmonary dysplasia, defined as requiring oxygen supplementation at 36 weeks’ postmenstrual age, although this varies greatly depending on the site of care.1,3,5 The neonatal community has conducted many trials evaluating treatments to reduce the incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, with little success. The only treatments that have reduced the incidence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia in randomized trials without serious adverse events in premature infants are caffeine and vitamin A.

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