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Semin Fetal Neonatal Med. 2011 Oct;16(5):269-74. doi: 10.1016/j.siny.2011.03.006. Epub 2011 Apr 22.

Myth: all surfactants are alike.

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Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Betty H. Cameron Women and Children's Hospital, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA.


There are several surfactant preparations available to the clinician, none of which are alike. They differ in their phospholipid and surfactant protein (SP) composition as well as dosing, yet they all have been shown to be clinically effective as surfactants. Head-to-head randomized clinical trials comparing surfactants have shown some advantages of preparations that contain SP-B and SP-C, primarily in short-term clinical outcomes. A new synthetic surfactant that contains a phospholipid mixture and a peptide resembling SP-B has shown promise as a potential alternative to animal-derived surfactants.

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