Delivery of M. nemestrina at 80% of normal gestation provides a population of neonates at high risk for hyaline membrane disease (HMD). The diagnosis of HMD was made by the presence of reticulogranular densities and air bronchograms on chest radiographs. Patchy atelectasis was seen in the lungs of animals assigned by clinical and radiographic criteria to the HMD group and not in the normal lungs of animals matched for gestational and postnatal age. Total phospholipid and phosphatidylcholine in whole lung, airway lavage fluid, and surface-active materials were lower in animals with HMD. Amniotic fluid L/S ratios were lower in the group that developed HMD. Pressure-volume measurements indicated decreased distensibility and unstable terminal air spaces in the HMD group. Alveolar-arterial oxygen pressure differences were greater in animals with HMD. There were no differences between HMD and normal groups in body weight, lung weight, percent dry lung weight, gestational age, and postnatal age at death. This primate species, subjected to premature delivery, is a suitable animal model of HMD in human neonates.Speculation
An animal model of hyaline membrane disease (HMD) in a primate species is of interest to investigators of developmentally related pulmonary disorders. More complete knowledge of abnormalities in pulmonary function in HMD will contribute to development of both preventive and therapeutic measures and affords the opportunity to determine risks and benefits of such treatments to the fetus and newborn.