IntroductionPostnatal alterations in pulmonary mechanics, energetics, and functional residual capacity (FRC) describe the structural maturation of the preterm respiratory system. Surfactant deficiency among infants with very low gestational age is successfully ameliorated with prenatal steroids and/or surfactant replacement, but continues to be confounded by postnatal structural immaturity of airways, chest wall, and lung parenchyma. These, mechanical properties are encompassed by:
The structural and physiologic characteristics of the neonatal respiratory system are unique and may act as impediments for normal respiration.
These mechanical characteristics are the elastic and resistive properties of the respiratory system and the forces that cause airflow.
The energy for ventilating the lungs is supplied by the active contraction of the respiratory muscles and these are required to overcome the elastic recoil of the lungs and the frictional resistance to airflow in the...
KeywordsChest Wall Functional Residual Capacity Frictional Resistance Lung Compliance Driving Pressure
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