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Neonatology pp 522-528 | Cite as

Lung Diseases: Surfactant Replacement Therapy

  • Henry L. Halliday

Abstract

In the past 3 decades introduction of prenatal steroid treatment, postnatal surfactant therapy and assisted ventilation have lead directly to improved neonatal outcomes [1]. Improved survival is directly related to more effective prevention or treatment of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), which prior to the 1990s had a high mortality. Following unsuccessful clinical trials with nebulized synthetic surfactants, comprised of phospholipids without surfactant proteins, in the 1960s [2] a number of randomized controlled trials in the 1980s demonstrated benefits of surfactants instilled directly into the lungs of preterm infants [3, 4, 5]. These surfactants were of 2 main types: natural (derived from animal lungs or human amniotic fluid) [3] containing surfactant proteins-B and C (SP-B and SP-C) and synthetic [4, 5] (containing phospholipids and other agents to facilitate spreading and adsorption). Both types of surfactant given, either prophylactically (in the delivery room within 15 minutes of birth) [3, 4] or for treatment of RDS [5], increased neonatal survival and reduced pulmonary air leaks such as pneumothoraces and pulmonary interstitial emphysema.

Keywords

Preterm Infant Respiratory Distress Syndrome Surfactant Therapy Natural Surfactant Surfactant Treatment 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Italia 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Henry L. Halliday
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Regional Neonatal UnitRoyal Maternity HospitalBelfastNorthern Ireland
  2. 2.Department of Child HealthQueen’s University BelfastBelfastNorthern Ireland

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