Lung volume changes

Case contributed by Dr Jeremy Jones


24 week preterm neonate with RDS.

Patient Data

Age: 24/40 day 4
Gender: Male

Preterm neonate (24/40) with widespread alveolar and interstitial opacification and areas of collapse.  Almost no aerated lung demonstrated lung. Features of RDS.


One day later, after a PDA ligation and chest drain insertion, there has been a significant change in appearance.

The lungs are hyperexpanded with persistent interstitial opacification.

Features here are the result of change in ventilator settings.


Slight reduction in lung volumes after a further change in ventilator settings.

Case Discussion

Case of severe RDS in a neonate. The three radiographs demonstrate how the ventilator settings can significantly change the appearance of the "classical" appearance of RDS on the initial film.

It is a reminder that while RDS should never be diagnosed when lung volumes are normal or high, if the neonate is ventilated, all bets are off!

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Case information

rID: 23969
Published: 21st Jul 2013
Last edited: 16th Jul 2018
System: Paediatrics
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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