Surfactant is now standard of care for infants with respiratory distress syndrome. Surfactant treatments are effective because of complex metabolic interactions between surfactant and the preterm lung. The large treatment dose functions as substrate; it is taken up by the preterm lung and is reprocessed and secreted with improved function. The components of the treatment surfactant remain in the preterm lung for days. If lung injury is avoided, then surfactant inhibition is minimized. Prenatal corticosteroids complement surfactant to further enhance lung function. The magic of surfactant therapy results from the multiple interactions between surfactant and the preterm lung.
Copyright (c) 2006 S. Karger AG, Basel.