Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 26, Issue 8, pp 508–511 | Cite as

The lungs in immature infants: How important is surfactant therapy in preventing chronic lung problems?

  • Leonard E. Swischuk
  • Balakrishna P. Shetty
  • Susan D. John


Seventy-five premature infants weighing between 600 and 3200 g were studied over a period of 1 year. All of the infants received surfactant therapy for hyaline membrane disease immediately after birth and, thereafter, up to four doses every 6 h. The roentgenographic findings in all patients were documented at birth and at 2 days, 7–10 days, and 21–28 days of life. Larger babies responded to surfactant therapy better than did smaller infants. The smaller infants, even after initial clearing, were prone to develop pulmonary edema and the bubbly lungs of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. These data suggest that small infants, while initially responding to surfactant therapy with clearing of their lungs, are still at considerable risk of developing chronic lung disease in the form of pulmonary edema and bronchopulmonary dysplasia. An explanation is offered for why this occurs; at the same time it is suggested that, in view of our findings and those in the literature, the problems of pulmonary edema and bubbly lungs be more clearly separated.


Public Health Surfactant Lung Disease Premature Infant Pulmonary Edema 
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 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard E. Swischuk
    • 1
  • Balakrishna P. Shetty
    • 1
  • Susan D. John
    • 1
  1. 1.Departments of Radiology and PediatricsUniversity of Texas Medical Branch at GalvestonGalvestonUSA

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