The paradox of adult respiratory distress syndrome in neonates

Pfenninger, J; Tschaeppeler, H; Wagner, B P; Weber, J; Zimmerman, A (1991). The paradox of adult respiratory distress syndrome in neonates. Pediatric pulmonology, 10(1), pp. 18-24. Hoboken, N.J.: Wiley-Blackwell 10.1002/ppul.1950100105

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Six full-term newborn infants are described who suffered from severe adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The triggering event was intrauterine/perinatal asphyxia in five, and group B streptococcal (GBS) septicemia in three. All had severe respiratory distress/failure and were ventilated mechanically with high concentrations of inspired oxygen and positive end-expiratory pressure. Radiography of the chest showed dense bilateral consolidation with air bronchograms and reduced lung volume. Persistent pulmonary hypertension (PPH) was documented in all cases. The coincidence of ARDS and PPH rendered respiratory management extremely difficult. For this reason high-frequency ventilation was instituted in all patients in order to improve CO2 elimination and induce respiratory alkalosis. Acute complications of respiratory therapy were encountered in five patients (pneumothorax, pulmonary interstitial emphysema, pneumopericardium). Three infants died (irreversible septic shock, progressive severe hypoxemia, and sudden cardiac arrest) after 17, 80, and 175 h of life. Histologic examination of the lungs was possible in all fatal cases and revealed typical changes of acute to subacute stages of ARDS. Three infants survived, the mean time of mechanical respiratory support being 703 h. Two patients were still dependent on oxygen after 1 month of life, and all survivors had increased interstitial markings and increased lung volumes on their chest roentgenograms at this time.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Wagner, Bendicht Peter








Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:12

Last Modified:

20 Jul 2022 10:02

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Web of Science ID:


URI: (FactScience: 196665)

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