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Disease Markers
Volume 31 (2011), Issue 4, Pages 199-203

HLA and Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia Susceptibility: A Pilot Study

Gustavo Rocha,1,5 Elisa Proença,2 Augusta Areias,2 Fátima Freitas,3 Bruno Lima,3 Teresa Rodrigues,4,5 Helena Alves,3 and Hercília Guimarães1,5

1Departament of Pediatrics, Division of Neonatology, Hospital de São João, Porto, Portugal
2Division of Neonatology, Maternity Júlio Dinis, Porto Hospital Centre, Porto, Portugal
3Centre of Histocompatibility of Porto, Porto, Portugal
4Department of Hygiene and Epidemiology, Porto, Portugal
5Faculty of Medicine of Porto University, Porto, Portugal

Received 14 October 2011; Accepted 14 October 2011

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is little data on the association between Human Leucocyte Antigen (HLA) alleles and Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia (BPD) of the preterm newborn. Our aim was to assess associations between HLA alleles and BPD susceptibility. We studied 156 preterm neonates (82 M/74 F) < 32 weeks gestational age, alive at 36 weeks gestational age. Detailed clinical data were collected. HLA typing was performed by PCR-SSO. HLA allele frequencies where determined by direct counting for BPD and no-BPD groups. Comparison between BPD and no BPD groups was performed using t-test, χ2 test or Fisher exact test and logistic regression as appropriate. Relative risks (RR) and their 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) were also calculated as association measures. We diagnosed 56 (35.9%) neonates with mild BPD and 27 (17%) with moderate/severe BPD. We found a significant association between HLA-DRB1*01 and mild BPD (OR=3.48[1.23–10.2]). The alleles HLA-A*24, -A*68, -B*51,-Cw*07, -Cw*14, -Cw*15 and -DRB1*01 presented a significant association with moderate/severe BPD. When adjusted to gestational age and birth weight HLA-A*68 (OR=5.41[1.46; 20.05]), -B*51 (OR=3.09[1.11; 8.63]) and -Cw*14 (OR=4.94[1.15; 21.25]) were significantly associated with moderate/severe BPD. Conclusion – Our findings suggest an association between HLA-A*68, -B*51 and -C*14 and BPD susceptibility, and that an autoimmune mechanism may be implicated in the pathogenesis of the disease.