Bronchodilators for the prevention and treatment of chronic lung disease in preterm infants



Chronic lung disease (CLD) occurs frequently in preterm infants. Bronchodilators have the potential effect of dilating small a irways with muscle hypertrophy. Increased compliance and tidal volume and decreased pulmonary resistance have been documented with the use of bronchodilators in infants with CLD. Therefore, bronchodilators might have a role in the prevention and treatment of CLD.


To determine the effect of bronchodilators given as prophylaxis or as treatment for CLD on mortality and other complications of preterm birth in infants at risk for or identified as having CLD.

Authors’ conclusions

Data are insufficient for reliable assessment of the use of salbutamol for prevention of CLD. One trial of poor quality reported a reduction in the incidence of CLD and shorter duration of supplementary oxygen with prophylactic aminophylline, but these results must be interpreted with caution. Additional clinical trials are necessary to assess the role of bronchodilator agents in prophylaxis or treatment of CLD. Researchers studying the effects of bronch odilators in preterm infants should include relevant clinical outcomes in addition to pulmonary mechanical outcomes. We identified no trials that studied the use of bronchodilator therapy for treatment of CLD