Neonatal Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia: Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose bronchopulmonary dysplasia?

Chest x-rays may be helpful in making the diagnosis. In babies with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), the x-rays may show lungs that look like ground glass. In babies with BPD, the x-rays may show lungs that appear spongy.

How do providers at Children’s Hospital Colorado make a diagnosis?

Doctors usually don’t diagnose BPD until at least four weeks into the infant's life. At that point, the doctors make a diagnosis based on whether there was lung damage or an injury at birth, and whether the infant has needed extra oxygen for a prolonged period of time (or past 36 weeks of age). Chest x-rays can also help determine the extent of the lung damage.