Respiratory morbidity and mortality remain common in preterm infants. The immature preterm lung is especially prone to injury. This process often starts in-utero due to maternal chorioamnionitis, priming the lung for further injury in response to post-natal ventilation, oxygen and nosocomial infection. Pulmonary inflammation has been strongly implicated in the pathway leading to lung injury in this population of infants. Several therapeutic approaches have been attempted to prevent acute lung injury or to limit its progress. The mechanisms of acute lung injury in preterm infants; their clinical correlates and available therapeutic approaches are reviewed here.
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