Exogenous surfactant improves lung compliance and oxygenation in adult rats with meconium aspiration

B. Sun, E. Herting, T. Curstedt, B. Robertson*

*Corresponding author for this work
51 Citations (Scopus)


We studied the effects of exogenous surfactant on lung function and morphology in an adult rat model of severe meconium aspiration syndrome. Animals ventilated with 100% oxygen received 4-6 ml of human meconium (25 mg/ml) intratracheally. After 30 min, lung-thorax compliance had decreased by >30% and arterial PO2 was <10 kPa. Animals were then treated with no material (MECO group), 0.9% NaCl (MECO-saline group), natural porcine surfactant (NPS group) at a dose of 100 mg/kg, or modified porcine surfactant at a dose of either 100 (MPS100 group) or 200 mg/kg (MPS200 group) and were ventilated for another 180 min. Immediate and sustained improvement of arterial PO2 and compliance was observed in the MPS200 group, whereas the MPS100 and NPS groups showed less pronounced effects. There was a significant improvement of quasi-static lung volumes at maximum insufflation pressure and during deflation in the MPS200, MPS100, and NPS groups. Recordings with Wilhelmy balance showed that minimum surface tension of bronchoalveolar lavage fluid from animals receiving either type or dose of surfactant was significantly lower than in the MECO and MECO-saline groups. Meconium aspiration induced diffuse and prominent atelectasis, intra-alveolar edema, and hyaline membranes. These morphological abnormalities were reversed by exogenous surfactant, especially by the high-dose regimen.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1961-1971
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1994

Research Areas and Centers

  • Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)


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