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Arch Pediatr. 2000 Jun;7(6):641-4.

[Constitutional deficiency of pulmonary surfactant protein B: clinical presentation, histologic and molecular diagnosis].

[Article in French]

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  • 1Service de biochimie et biologie moléculaire, hôpital d'enfants Armand-Trousseau, Paris, France.


We report a female full-term infant with fatal respiratory failure of early onset due to inherited SP-B deficiency. Lung biopsy was performed at 18 days after birth, with histopathological characterization indicating congenital alveolar proteinosis. Immunohistochemical studies of lung tissue revealed the absence of SP-B and the presence of intra-alveolar SP-A normal quantities. Analysis of genomic DNA showed homozygosity for the 121ins2 mutation of the SFTPB gene. The infant died 21 days after birth. Both parents were heterozygotes for the mutation. Chorionic villus sampling was performed at the first trimester of the following pregnancy. Restriction analysis of amplified fetal DNA, studies of microsatellite segregation and direct sequencing led to the diagnosis of homozygosity for the parental wild-type allele. The diagnosis of congenital SP-B deficiency should be suspected whenever an early and acute respiratory failure in a term or near-term infant does not resolve after five days of age: diagnostic confirmation can be easily and rapidly obtained with the analysis of genomic DNA and immunohistochemical characterization of lung tissue.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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