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Rationale for Antioxidant Therapy in Premature Infants to Prevent Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia

Stephen E. Welty M.D., Charles V. Smith Ph D
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1753-4887.2001.tb01899.x 10-17 First published online: 1 January 2001


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is a chronic lung disease common in premature infants that can cause severe complications. BPD's pathogenesis is multifactorial but oxidative processes during the first week of life are thought to play a key role in the development of the disease. Prevention of this oxidation through antioxidant therapy is therefore of interest. Unfortunately, this therapy has not proven effective, most likely owing to the nonspecific strategy used. This review focuses on the challenges facing researchers and clinicians in improving the antioxidant status of premature infants in order to prevent or lessen the severity of BPD. This review will focus on the particular oxidations that may lead to BPD and the specific therapies that can be used to counter these processes.

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