Donor human milk protects against bronchopulmonary dysplasia: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Eduardo Villamor-Martínez, Maria Pierro, Giacomo Cavallaro, Fabio Mosca, Boris W. Kramer, Eduardo Villamor

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common complication after preterm birth. Pasteurized donor human milk (DHM) has increasingly become the standard of care for very preterm infants over the use of preterm formula (PF) if the mother’s own milk (MOM) is unavailable. Studies have reported beneficial effects of DHM on BPD. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) and observational studies on the effects of DHM on BPD and other respiratory outcomes. Eighteen studies met the inclusion criteria. Meta-analysis of RCTs could not demonstrate that supplementation of MOM with DHM reduced BPD when compared to PF (three studies, risk ratio (RR) 0.89, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.60-1.32). However, meta-analysis of observational studies showed that DHM supplementation reduced BPD (8 studies, RR 0.78, 95% CI 0.67-0.90). An exclusive human milk diet reduced the risk of BPD, compared to a diet with PF and/or bovine milk-based fortifier (three studies, RR 0.80, 95% CI 0.68-0.95). Feeding raw MOM, compared to feeding pasteurized MOM, protected against BPD (two studies, RR 0.77, 95% CI 0.62-0.96). In conclusion, our data suggest that DHM protects against BPD in very preterm infants.

Original languageEnglish
Article number238
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 20 2018


  • Breast milk
  • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia
  • Donor human milk
  • Pasteurization
  • Preterm formula

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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