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Pediatr Res. 2002 Jun;51(6):689-95.

Injury responses to different surfactants in ventilated premature lamb lungs.

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Children's Hospital Medical Center, Division of Pulmonary Biology, Cincinnati, OH 45229-3039, USA.


The lung of the preterm infant is easily injured and an initial indication of the injury is an inflammatory response. Surfactant treatment and gentle ventilation will minimize the initiation and progression of injury. We asked if the initial lung injury response differed when preterm ventilated lambs were treated with complete natural sheep surfactant, a lipid extract of sheep surfactant, a surfactant used to treat RDS (Survanta), or a synthetic surfactant containing recombinant SP-C (Venticute). We used a gentle style of ventilation and a positive end expiratory pressure of 4 cmH(2)0 to minimize injury. The surfactants were not distinguishable based on gas exchange, compliance or lung gas volumes over the 6h ventilation period. When compared with unventilated controls the ventilated lambs had increased protein and inflammatory cells in alveolar lavages. The cells from the alveolar lavages produced more H(2)0(2), expressed more surface adhesion antigens and CD-14 receptors, and expressed more mRNA for the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1 beta and IL-8 than did cells from unventilated lungs. Lung tissue expressed primarily increased IL-6 mRNA relative to unventilated controls. However, there were no consistent differences in any of the inflammatory indicators between the different surfactant treated groups. Because endotoxin free natural surfactant containing SP-A was not superior to three other surfactants containing differing amounts of the surfactant proteins, additions of these proteins to clinical surfactants may not decrease the indicators of lung inflammation that accompany the initiation of ventilation of the preterm lung.

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