Pulmonary Atelectasis of the Newborn

  • Jing Liu
  • Hai-Ying Cao


In utero, the fetal lungs are atelectatic. Twenty minutes after birth, the lung volume reaches 17 mL, and 3–6 h later, it reaches 36 mL. Full lung dilation usually does not occur for several days. Lung dilation usually starts from the anterior margin and the apex of the lungs, and the paravertebral dilation and central and rear dilation occur later. The inability to undergo pulmonary dilation for any reason, or the loss of normal function in response to inadequate aeration from collapse of the pulmonary tissues, is called atelectasis [1, 2]. Atelectasis is not an independent disease; instead, it is a common complication of multiple diseases. Atelectasis is a common cause of neonatal dyspnea, protracted illness, and difficulty withdrawing a ventilator. The correct diagnosis of atelectasis is important for reasonable treatment, improvement of the patient’s condition, and prognosis [1–3].

Supplementary material

Video 7.1

(AVI 75765 kb)

Video 7.2

(MOV 401 kb)

Video 7.3

(AVI 67648 kb)

Video 7.4

(AVI 67648 kb)

Video 7.5

(AVI 75765 kb)


  1. 1.
    Peroni DG, Boner AL. Atelectasis: mechanisms, diagnosis and management. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2000;1(3):274–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Johnston C, Carvalho WB. Atelectasis: mechanisms, diagnosis and treatment in the pediatric patient. Rev Assoc Med Bras. 2008;54(5):455–60.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Nakos G, Tsangaris H, Liokatis S, et al. Ventilator-associated pneumonia and atelectasis: evaluation through bronchoalveolar lavage fluid analysis. Intensive Care Med. 2003;29:555–63.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Westhoff M, Freitag L. Surfactant treatment of complete lobar atelectasis after exacerbation of bronchial asthma by infection. Pneumologie. 2001;55:130–4.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Schindler MB. Treatment of atelectasis: where is the evidence? Crit Care. 2005;9(4):341–2.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bar-Zohar D, Sivan Y. The yield of flexible fiberoptic bronchoscopy in pediatric intensive care patients. Chest. 2004;126:1353–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Zhang DJ, Zhao DY, Liang H, et al. Application of flexible bronchoscopy in diagnosis and treatment of 104 children with pulmonary atelectasis. Zhonghua Er Ke Za Zhi. 2010;48(10):767–70.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Lichtenstein DA, Lascols N, Prin S, et al. The “lung pulse”: an early ultrasound sign of complete atelectasis. Intensive Care Med. 2003;29:2187–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Liu J, Chen SW, Liu F, et al. The diagnosis of neonatal pulmonary atelectasis using lung ultrasonography. Chest. 2015;147(4):1013–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. and People's Medical Publishing House 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jing Liu
    • 1
  • Hai-Ying Cao
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Neonatology and NICUBeijing Chaoyang District Maternal and Child Health Care HospitalBeijingChina
  2. 2.Department of Ultrasound, GE HealthcareBeijingChina

Personalised recommendations