For a number of years we have been struck by the absence of truly pathologic lesions as a cause of death among many of the immature infants born in the Pennsylvania Hospital. Many of these infants appeared to have died of respiratory failure, as evidenced by cyanosis and gasping respirations in the presence of seemingly normal cardiac function. In fact, it was usual for the heart to continue beating even after respirations had ceased. Numerous embryologic studies on the development of the fetal lung and the lining of the alveoli have been made; yet in the literature there has been little discussion of the clinical significance of the results of such studies. Although death in the premature infant is undoubtedly caused by a complex mechanism which includes anatomic and metabolic dysfunction of numerous organs, it seemed desirable to make an anatomic study of the fetal lung to determine what bearing
NORRIS RF, KOCHENDERFER TT, TYSON RM. DEVELOPMENT OF THE FETAL LUNG: WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO THE LINING OF THE ALVEOLI AND THE EFFECT OF IMMATURITY ON RESPIRATION. Am J Dis Child. 1941;61(5):933–950. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1941.02000110021003
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