Alveolar Surfactant Function in Severely Injured Patients

  • W. Seeger
  • U. Pison
  • Th. Joka
  • H. Neuhof


Lack of Surfactant material is the underlying abnormality of the respiratory distress syndrome in preterm infants [1–3]. Surfactant abnormalities have also been implicated in the development of adult respiratory distress in adults (ARDS) [4]. This view is supported by similarities in pulmonary failure between patients with ARDS and preterm babies with respiratory distress syndrome, as well as diffuse alveolar collapse suggesting altered surfactant properties in ARDS. Mechanisms of surfactant alteration in the course of ARDS could not only include absolute lack of surface-active compounds, but also alterations in its phospholipid or protein composition [5, 6]. There are several lines of evidence that increased lung endothelial and epithelial permeability is the decisive step in the development of ARDS or different etiology [7–11]. Subsequent leakage of protein-rich edema fluid into the interstitial and the alveolar space has been implicated in alterations of surfactant properties due to protein surfactant interaction [12–16].


Surface Tension Adult Respiratory Distress Syndrome Surfactant Property Hyaline Membrane Disease Minimal Surface Tension 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • W. Seeger
    • 1
  • U. Pison
    • 1
  • Th. Joka
    • 2
  • H. Neuhof
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Trauma SurgeryUniversity Medical SchoolEssenGermany
  2. 2.Division of Clinical Pathophysiology, Department of Internal MedicineJustus-Liebig-UniversityGiessenGermany

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