Surfactant Replacement Therapy in the Neonate: Beyond Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Topics: Infant respiratory distress syndrome, Pulmonology, Pulmonary surfactant Pages: 2 (672 words) Published: September 27, 2011
Pulmonary surfactant is a substance found on the alveolar wall that lowers alveolar surface tension. This decreases the muscle effort required to open and ventilate the lungs. Natural, endogenous surfactant is a compound composed of phospholipids, neutral lipids, and proteins that forms a layer between the alveolar surface and the alveolar gas and reduces alveolar collapse by decreasing surface tension within the alveoli. Surfactant replacement therapy rescue treatment a few hours after birth in infants with Respiratory Distress Syndrome( RDS) also known as hyaline membrane disease. Although RDS is a characterized by the reduction in lung volume due to a decrease in surfactant production. Surfactant deficiency is almost always associated with the formation of hyaline membranes in the immature lung and the onset of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)a major cause of morbidity and mortality in premature infants. Without surfactant, alveoli may never inflate or may collapse on expiration and require inordinate force to re-expand on inspiration, leading to the development of RDS.The incidence of RDS is related more to lung immaturity than to gestational age. However, in general, the more premature the infant, the less the surfactant production and the higher the probability for RDS. Direct tracheal instillation of surfactant has been shown to reduce mortality and morbidity in infants with RDS. Lack of surfactant leading cause of pulmonary complications in the neonate, also lungs become stiff and non-compliant. Also lack of surfactant causes energy loss, hypoxia, and hypoventilation. There are other neonatal lung disorders in which inadequate functional surfactant may be a prominent element of the pathophysiology either by in activation or inhabitation of synthesis. These include meconiunm aspiration syndrome, shock lung, pulmonary hemorrhage, pneumonia, congenital diaphragmatic hernia, and broncho pulmonary dysplasia (BPD). This article is more focus on effects...
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