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Surfactant in the airways: Composition, function and relevance in asthma

: Hohlfeld, J.M.

Applied cardiopulmonary pathophysiology 9 (2000), Nr.3, S.246-248
ISSN: 0920-5268
Fraunhofer ITA ( ITEM) ()
Asthma; pulmonary surfactant

Surfactant reduces the surface tension at the air-liquid interface in the entire lung by forming a lining layer between the aqueous airway liquid and the inspired air. The pathogenic relevance of surfactant was initially recognized in infant respiratory distress syndrome as a quantitative surfactant deficiency, but today surfactant abnormalities have been reported in various lung diseases with an alveolar surfactant dysfunction, such as acute respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, and cardiogenic lung oedema. In contract, the possible involvment of pulmonary surfactant in the pathophysiology of airways diseases, such as asthma has only recently been addresed. The role of surfactant in the airways with regard to its composition and function as well as its potential relevance in asthma will be discussed below.