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August 1963

Distensibility Curves and Expansion Patterns of Newborn Lungs: The Unique Pattern of Lungs of Infants With Hyaline Membranes

Author Affiliations

John M. Craig, MD, Boston Lying-In Hospital, 221 Longwood Ave, Boston 15, Mass.; From the Department of Pathology of the Boston Lying-In Hospital and Harvard Medical School.

Am J Dis Child. 1963;106(2):174-184. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1963.02080050176010

It has been shown by Gribetz that the excised lungs of infants dying with respiratory distress do not expand well,1 and Cook et al 2 have demonstrated the reduced compliance of lungs of such infants during life. Gruenwald has indicated that the lungs of such infants will expand at pressures of 70 cm of water, but sustained pressures at this level are considered to be unobtainable during life in the newborn and very likely disruptive if achieved by external means.3 The static pressures employed in this paper may have little relation to the relatively high pressures momentarily obtained during inspiration, or the short sharp rises in intratracheal pressure during resuscitatory procedures. Several years ago we demonstrated the nature of the expanded pattern of lungs of infants dying with hyaline membranes by injection, reconstruction, and corrosion techniques.4 In these, it was found that the membranes appeared to obstruct

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