Surfactant content in children with inflammatory lung disease


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Abstract

Objective To determine surfactant profiles of tracheal secretions in mechanically ventilated children with respiratory failure secondary to bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonitis, adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), and cardiopulmonary bypass.Design Prospective, cohort study.Setting Tertiary, multidisciplinary, pediatric intensive care unit.Patients One hundred twenty pediatric patients with respiratory failure requiring mechanical ventilation.Interventions Routine tracheal aspirates were collected from children with bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonitis, ARDS, postcardiopulmonary bypass, and a postsurgical control group. Samples were obtained on days 1, 2, 3, after every week of intubation and on the day of extubation.Measurements and Main Results The tracheal aspirates were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography for lecithin/sphingomyelin ratios and by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay for surfactant proteins A and B. Lung compliance and the oxygenation index were measured on each day of sample collection. On day 1, patients with bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonitis, and ARDS had decreased lecithin/sphingomyelin ratios (p less than .001), and those patients with bacterial pneumonia and viral pneumonitis had decreased surfactant protein A/protein concentration (p less than .001). The lecithin/sphingomyelin ratios and surfactant protein A/protein concentration were significantly different among the groups (p less than .001), with the bacterial pneumonia and viral pneumonitis groups having higher lecithin/sphingomyelin ratios and increased surfactant protein concentrations before extubation. Pulmonary compliance was lower and the oxygenation index was higher than controls (p less than .001) in patients with bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonitis, and ARDS. Pulmonary compliance was correlated weakly with lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio (r2 equals .11, p less than .001) and surfactant protein A/protein concentration (r2 equals .03, p less than .05). Surfactant protein B was similar in the diagnostic groups. Surfactant content in tracheal secretions from cardiopulmonary bypass patients was equivalent to controls.Conclusion Abnormal tracheal aspirate surfactant phospholipids and surfactant protein A were noted in children with bacterial pneumonia, viral pneumonitis, and ARDS, but not in children on cardiopulmonary bypass.(Crit Care Med 1996; 24:1062-1067)

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