GARLAND ET al1 report in this issue that a retrospective observational analysis of multiple possible risk variables for bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) turned up the association of low Pco2 values before surfactant treatment with BPD. Intuitively, low Pco2 values suggest better lung function in the preterm infant and might be expected to indicate a decreased risk for BPD. Is the association identified by Garland et al1 real or the result of data dredging for associations with BPD? Does this observation tell us something important about how we might decrease the incidence of BPD? The association of low Pco2 values very early in the course of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) with subsequent BPD is a new observation. Nevertheless, it is consistent with previous associations relating Pco2 levels to BPD. Avery et al2 reported in 1987 that the incidence of BPD was similar across seven
Jobe AH. Hypocarbia and Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 1995;149(6):615–616. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1995.02170190025004
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