Serial measurements of thoracic gas volume and arterial oxygen tension in a group of small premature infants are reported. The study demonstrated that when thoracic gas volume reached levels for normal, full-term infants arterial oxygen tension approached full-term values. The study indicates extensive pulmonary abnormality in clinically non-distressed premature infants, most likely due to persistent atelectasis or partially aerated alveoli. Observations suggest that the infant attempts to correct this abnormality by frequent periodic hyperinflations or sighs.
- Received February 7, 1967.
- Accepted April 21, 1967.
- Copyright © 1967 by the American Academy of Pediatrics