Adhesive atelectasis

Last revised by Dr Yuranga Weerakkody on 18 Jan 2021

Adhesive atelectasis refers to the specific form of lung atelectasis that occurs due to the decrease or absence of pulmonary surfactant produced by type II pneumocytes. Without sufficient surfactant the alveoli collapse due to increased surface tension. It is most commonly seen in neonates with respiratory distress syndrome.


Diffuse surfactant deficiency
  • respiratory distress syndrome of the newborn: surfactant deficiency
  • ARDS
  • smoke inhalation
  • hypoxemia
  • prolonged shallow breaths
  • uremia
  • post operative i.e cardiac bypass surgery
Localized surfactant deficiency

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