Immature Lung and Acute Lung
P. ZOBAN, M. ČERNÝ
Department of Neonatology, Charles University, Second Faculty
of Medicine and University Hospital Motol, Prague, Czech
Received June 6, 2002
Accepted November 11, 2002
Acute lung injury occurs mostly in the very low birth weight and
extremely low birth weight infants. The pathological process
leading to acute lung injury includes immature and/or diseased
lung that experienced oxidative stress, inflammation and
mechanical insult with the bronchial, alveolar and capillary
injuries and cell death. It may be the first step to the
subsequent development of chronic lung disease of prematurity or
bronchopulmonary dysplasia. The mechanisms of lung injury are
extensively investigated in the experimental models and clinical
studies, mostly performed on the adult patients. At present, the
explanations of the mechanism(s) leading to lung tissue injury
in tiny premature babies are just derived from these studies.
Acute lung injury seems to be rather a syndrome than a
well-defined nosological unit and is of multifactorial etiology.
The purpose of this review is to discuss the main factors
contributing to the development of acute lung injury in the very
low or extremely low birth weight infants – lung immaturity,
mechanical injury, oxidative stress and inflammation.
Nevertheless, numerous other factors may influence the status of
immature lung after delivery.
Acute lung injury • Immature lung • Mechanical lung injury •
Oxidative stress • Inflammation
Petr Zoban, MD, Department of Neonatology, Second Faculty of
Medicine, Charles University, University Hospital Motol, V úvalu
84, 150 06 Prague 5, Czech Republic, e-mail: