Introduction: Various cytokines have been associated to the occurrence of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in preterm neonates.AIM: To establish an association between cord blood cytokines and BPD, so that they could be used, in clinical practice, as early markers of BPD.Material and methods: Preterms less than 30 weeks gestational age, were analysed by ELISA microassay for venous cord blood IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, TNF-α and IL-10, and compared between the BPD and non-BPD groups.Results: One hundred and fifty neonates completed the study; 31 (21%) small for gestational age (SGA); 16 were deceased before 28 days of life; 36 developed mild BPD and 20 developed moderate/severe BPD. Elevated cord blood IL-8 was associated with death or moderate/severe BPD. SGA patients with moderate/severe BPD presented higher cord blood values of IL-8, lower IL-6 and IL-10 when compared with SGA without moderate/severe BPD; and higher IL-8 levels when compared with patients without moderate/severe BPD.Conclusion: These results support an association between cord blood IL-8 and moderate/severe BPD, independently of the intra-uterine growth; and the association of cord blood IL-6 and IL-10 and moderate/severe BPD in SGA preterm newborns.