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Rev Bras Ter Intensiva. 2019 Oct 14;31(3):347-353. doi: 10.5935/0103-507X.20190047. eCollection 2019.

Atelectasis and lung changes in preterm neonates in the neonatal period: a blind radiological report and clinical findings.

[Article in English, Portuguese; Abstract available in Portuguese from the publisher]

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Programa de Atenção Hospitalar em Saúde da Criança e Adolescente, Complexo Hospital de Clínicas, Universidade Federal do Paraná - Curitiba (PR), Brasil.
Unidade de Terapia Intensiva Pediátrica, Complexo Hospital de Clínicas, Universidade Federal do Paraná - Curitiba (PR), Brasil.
Curso de Fisioterapia, Universidade Federal do Paraná - Curitiba (PR), Brasil.
Unidade de Terapia Intensiva Neonatal, Complexo Hospital de Clínicas, Universidade Federal do Paraná - Curitiba (PR), Brasil.


in English, Portuguese


To determine the occurrence and characteristics of atelectasis, opacities, hypolucency and pulmonary infiltrates observed on chest X-rays of preterm infants in a neonatal intensive care unit.


This was a cross-sectional observational study. From August to December 2017, all chest radiographs of newborn infants were analyzed. The study included the chest radiographs of preterm neonates with gestational ages up to 36 weeks in the neonatal period that showed clear changes or suspected changes, which were confirmed after a radiologist's report. Radiological changes were associated with possible predisposing factors.


During the study period, 450 radiographs were performed on preterm neonates, and 37 lung changes were identified and classified into 4 types: 12 (2.66%) changes were described as opacities, 11 (2.44%) were described as atelectasis, 10 (2.22%) were described as pulmonary infiltrate, and 4 (0.88%) were described as hypolucency. A higher occurrence of atelectasis was noted in the right lung (81.8%). Among the abnormal radiographs, 25 (67.6%) newborn infants were receiving invasive mechanical ventilation.


Considering the radiological report, no significance was found for the observed changes. Atelectasis was not the most frequently observed change. The predisposing factors for these changes were extreme prematurity, low weight, male sex, a poorly positioned endotracheal tube and the use of invasive mechanical ventilation.

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