Surfactant Therapy: Beyond a Rescue Therapy for ARDS

  • J. J. Haitsma
  • R. A. Lachmann
  • B. Lachmann
Conference paper


In acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) the deficiency of (active) surfactant leads to the progressive deterioration of lung function. If one can reverse the surfactant deficiency one can expect also to improve lung function and ultimately this may reduce the mortality rates in ARDS patients. Therefore, it would be logical to supplement the ARDS lung with exogenous surfactant. Because ARDS is associated with a high mortality rate (> 40%) current investigation on surfactant therapy in adults is focused on reducing mortality in these patients by using exogenous surfactant as a rescue therapy. However, in light of the unique properties of surfactant as a rate-limiting factor in the transfer across the alveolo-capillary membrane, as well as its surface tension lowering properties and the critical role of surfactant in pulmonary host defense, in this chapter we present an outline for future applications of exogenous surfactant.


Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Rescue Therapy Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome Patient Pulmonary Surfactant Improve Lung Function 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. J. Haitsma
  • R. A. Lachmann
  • B. Lachmann

There are no affiliations available

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