Transient tachypnea of the newborn

Case contributed by Katia Kaplan-List
Diagnosis almost certain


Born via C-section at 38.5 weeks with respiratory distress and increased work of breathing. Apgar scores at birth and at 5 minutes were 5 and 5. Artificial rupture of the membranes demonstrated meconium-stained amniotic fluid. Patient improved and was discharged home the next day.

Patient Data

Age: 0 days
Gender: Male

AP chest radiograph shows bilateral diffuse symmetrical hazy airspace opacities, a small amount of fluid within the minor fissure and normal lung volumes.

Case Discussion

Transient tachypnea of the newborn usually occurs in full-term infants delivered via cesarean section or precipitous birth 1 and is due to retained fluid in the lungs. It improves within several hours. In contrast to hyaline membrane disease, the lung volumes are normal or slightly over inflated. Pulmonary edema, neonatal pneumonia and meconium aspiration are also in the differential.

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