Rationale: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is the most common complication of prematurity and significantly contributes to mortality and morbidity with few predictive biomarkers. Given that nitrites have been implicated in pathways associated with lung disease, we hypothesized that nitrite levels would be altered in the airways of premature infants diagnosed with BPD. Methods: This was a prospective cohort study of extremely low birth infants (< 28 weeks' gestation) at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Nitrite levels from tracheal aspirates (TAs) were compared between intubated and ventilated infants with BPD and gestation matched full term (FT) controls. TA derived nitrite levels from day one after birth were also compared between preterm infants who did and did not develop BPD. Results: Infants with BPD were found to have significantly elevated nitrite levels in their tracheal aspirates compared to gestation matched FT controls (p < 0.05). There was a trend for increased nitrite levels on postnatal day one in infants that developed BPD compared to infants that did not develop BPD (p = 0.05). Conclusions: In conclusion, nitrite levels are significantly increased in airways of infants with BPD. Data from a larger cohort are needed to further support the utility of nitrite for BPD prediction. Trial registration: Not applicable.