Neonatal Respiratory Distress Syndrome

Back to Library

Neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (hyaline membrane disease)
The neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (NRDS) is due to deficiency of surfactant in the lungs. It is primarily a disease affecting premature infants, but is also seen in infants born to diabetic mothers, as excess production of insulin by the fetus suppresses surfactant production.

A very common condition, the incidence of NRDS increases with increasing prematurity (20% incidence at 32-36 weeks' gestation; 60% incidence at <28 weeks' gestation).
With development of disease, the chest radiograph shows a 'ground glass' opacity in the lung fields.
The mortality from NRDS is 50% in infants weighing under 1000 g.
The lungs from infants who die from the condition appear airless, dark red and dense.
Depending on the stage of disease, atelectasis, epithelial necrosis, hyaline membranes, and organization may be seen histologically.

There are four main risk factors for development of NRDS.
The immature or damaged lung is unable to make enough surfactant, the lecithin-rich surface-active lipid secreted by Type II pneumocytes.
Normally this reduces surface tension in alveoli and keeps alveoli open. In NRDS, lack of surfactant means that alveoli collapse with microatelectasis.

Hypoxia leads to damage of alveolar lining cells, hypoxia and pulmonary arterial constriction.
Endothelial damage causes plasma to leak into alveoli, being deposited as fibrin.
The fibrin appears as bright, pink-stained membranes lining alveoli, hence the name hyaline membrane disease. The presence of fibrin further impairs gas exchange and makes hypoxia worse.
The process is similar to that in diffuse alveolar damage.
Later, regenerative changes in the lung lead to organization of hyaline membranes and fibrosis.
Interested in translating health topics to somali language!

We give here simplified and accurate information about the disease

DISCLAIMER: This website is provided for general information and it's run by medical students for medical students only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. We are not responsible or liable for any diagnosis or action made by a user based on the content of this website. We are not liable for the contents of any external websites listed, nor do we endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised on any of the sites. Always consult your own doctor if you are in any way concerned about your health

Advertising | Conditions of use | Privacy policy | Webmaster
Copyright 2007 []. All rights reserved.
Revised: 02-11-2014.