There is no one test to diagnose
chronic lung disease. A doctor may first suspect it if
your baby has trouble breathing. The diagnosis is confirmed when one of the
following is present:
The baby needs extra oxygen for at least 28
days after birth.
At 36 weeks of
gestational age, the baby needs more oxygen than is
present in ordinary air. Gestational age is the number of weeks and days a baby
has developed since the beginning of the pregnancy, or gestation.
Babies with chronic lung disease usually have regular blood
a blood gas test) to monitor how well their lungs are
working. These tests may be done until the baby can breathe without extra
A number of tests may be done to rule out other causes of
difficulty breathing and to learn whether complications of chronic lung disease are present.
A baby may have an
electrocardiogram and an
echocardiogram to see how well the heart is working.
Echocardiograms are usually repeated every 2 to 3 months until 4 to 6 months
oxygen therapy has stopped.
A baby may
lung function test to find out how much damage has been done to the lungs. This test is repeated regularly as the child
gets older. After results are normal, a child may no longer need lung function