The effect of intratracheal surfactant instillation on pulmonary function in rats with Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) was investigated. In those animals which developed PCP with severe respiratory failure after administration of cortisone acetate s. c. over 8-12 weeks, pulmonary function was improved by surfactant instillation. PaO2 values 30 min after surfactant instillation were significantly higher compared to pretreatment values and also compared to PaO2 values of rats 30 min after receiving saline (482.9 mmHg±44.7, 170.7 mmHg ±39.3 and 67.2 mmHg±17.4, respectively). Histological examination showed that alveoli of rats with PCP which received no exogenous surfactant are filled with foamy edema, whereas after exogenous surfactant alveoli are stabilized and well-aerated. These results indicate that exogenous surfactant may help patients with severe PCP to overcome an acute stage of respiratory distress.

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Intensive Care Medicine
Department of Anesthesiology

Eijking, E.P, van Daal, G.J, Tenbrinck, R, Luijendijk, A, Sluiters, J.F, Hannappel, E, & Lachmann, B.F. (1991). Effect of surfactant replacement on Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in rats. Intensive Care Medicine, 17(8), 475–478. doi:10.1007/BF01690770