Book Chapter

The Development of the Pulmonary Surfactant System

S Orgeig, JL Morrison, LC Sullivan, CB Daniels

The Lung: Development, Aging and the Environment: Second Edition | Published : 2014

Abstract

The pulmonary surfactant system is uniquely positioned to meet the physical and environmental challenges associated with the transition to air breathing at birth. Its maturation is under complex multifactorial control that ensures the system is mature in late gestation in readiness for birth. Surfactant dysfunction through preterm birth or genetic causes may lead to respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). The use of antenatal glucocorticoids and neonatal administration of exogenous surfactant has been remarkably successful in the treatment of RDS. However, resistance to therapy has uncovered a genetic basis to many cases of acute neonatal RDS. Identification of gene defects relating to surfacta..

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