Surfactant protein B and A concentrations are increased in neonatal pneumonia

Sara D'Aronco, Manuela Simonato, Luca Vedovelli, Aldo Baritussio, Giovanna Verlato, Stefano Nobile, Chiara Giorgetti, Matteo Nespeca, Virgilio P. Carnielli, Paola E. Cogo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background:Term newborns with pneumonia show a reduced pulmonary compliance due to multiple and ill-defined factors. Surfactant proteins' (SPs) changes could have a role in the reduced compliance but the matter is still unsettled. The aim of this study was to clarify the meaning of SPs changes during pneumonia in term newborns.Methods:In 28 term ventilated newborns, 13 with pneumonia and 15 with no lung disease, we measured SP-B, SP-A, disaturated-phosphatidylcholine (DSPC), and total phospholipids (PL) concentrations in tracheal aspirates at intubation and close to extubation. We also measured DSPC kinetics using (U- 13 C-PA)dipalmitoyl-phosphatidylcholine.Results:At baseline, SP-B, expressed as % of PL, was significantly different between the groups, being 3.5-fold higher in pneumonia than controls. Conversely, SP-A did not vary between the groups. At extubation, SP-B and SP-A concentrations had decreased significantly in newborns with pneumonia, while there was no significant change in controls. DSPC t 1/2 was significantly shorter in the pneumonia group (11.8 (5.5-19.8) h vs. 26.6 (19.3-63.6) h, P = 0.011).Conclusion:In term newborns with pneumonia, SP-B increases with respect to PL, and DSPC is turned over at a faster rate. Disease's resolution is associated with the restoration of the normal ratio between SP-B and PL.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)401-406
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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