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Abstracts |

Atelectasis: Recent Concepts.

Alton I. Sutnick, M.D. (Associate)
Ann Intern Med. 1964;60(2_Part_1):336. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-60-2-336_1
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The production of atelectasis has classically been viewed as a mechanical process involving one of two mechanisms: bronchial obstruction or external compression of the alveoli. Although the existence of nonobstructive atelectasis has been recognized for many years, investigation of the mechanisms involved in this phenomenon has been a relatively recent development.

The forces of surface tension are now generally considered to be a powerful stimulus to alveolar collapse. A naturally occurring antagonist to these forces, pulmonary surfactant, maintains alveolar patency. The activity of this surfactant has been altered under certain experimental conditions and in a number of clinical disease states.




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