RT31 Chapter 1 Learning Objectives.docx

Fetal survival outside the uterus becomes possible at

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• Fetal survival outside the uterus becomes possible at approximately 24 weeks of gestation. Survival outside the uterus before this is not possible, because the pulmonary capillary system is not sufficient to support gas exchange. • Abnormal lung development can occur at any point during gestation. • Early developmental problems can be associated with abnormalities of other organ systems (e.g., renal agenesis associated lung branching abnormalities). • Other developmental problems can occur as through the direct obstruction of proper gestational growth (e.g., congenital diaphragmatic hernia with direct compression to the developing lung inhibits normal growth). • By 22 weeks of gestation the cytoplasm within the alveolar type II cells begin to contain lamellar bodies, which are important in the production of surfactant. • Surfactant produced by alveolar type II cells is a phospholipoprotein important for reducing alveolar surface tension. This reduction in surface tension reduces the work of breathing in a spontaneously breathing newborn. Ron Brown RT31
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• Fetal lung fluid is secreted by cells of the fetal airways. This fluid flows from the distal terminal airways toward the pharynx and eventually is either swallowed or expelled as a constituent of the amniotic fluid. • During the birthing process, production of fetal lung fluid is slowed, and after birth the fetal lung fluid is cleared by the lymphatic system of the lung.
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  • Winter '19
  • Embryo, renal agenesis, Ron Brown, stages of fetal lung development

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