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March 1971

Lung Development and Lecithin Metabolism

Author Affiliations

Durham, NC

From the Department of Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.

Arch Intern Med. 1971;127(3):413-414. doi:10.1001/archinte.1971.00310150073009

Normal pulmonary function is dependent upon maturation and maintenance of the biochemical synthesis of a unique specie of disaturated lecithin. The latter effectively combats surface tension and permits the alveolus to remain open at low transpulmonary pressures. The synthesis of this surfactant (antiatelectasis factor) appears reduced by intrauterine asphyxia. This may be etiologically important in respiratory distress syndrome of the newborn.