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Influence of bilirubin on surface tension properties of lung surfactant.
  1. M Amato,
  2. S Schürch,
  3. R Grunder,
  4. H Bachofen,
  5. P H Burri
  1. Institute of Anatomy, University of Berne, Switzerland.


    AIM: To investigate the influence of bilirubin on the surface tension activity of a porcine derived (Curosurf) and synthetic (Exosurf) surfactant. METHODS: The captive bubble surfactometer at phospholipid doses of 0.5 mg/ml (low dose) and 1 mg/ml (high dose) in solutions of increasing bilirubin concentrations (0.25, 0.5, and 1.0 mg/ml) was used. RESULTS: Curosurf (without bilirubin) showed a higher surface f1p4ion activity than Exosurf, as shown by area compression of 30 (SD 0.6)% compared with 76(1.4)% at low surfactant dose and 25 (0.9)% compared with 85 (0.5)% at high dose (P < 0.01). Bilirubin showed negligible surface activity at the concentrations studied. At low phospholipid dose (0.5 mg/ml Curosurf), bilirubin increased film area compression of lipid extract surfactant from 30 (0.6)% to 55 (1.6)%, 59 (0.1)%, and 68 (0.5)% at the three studied bilirubin concentrations, respectively (P < 0.01). At high phospholipid dose (1 mg/ml Curosurf), bilirubin had the same adverse, although less pronounced, effect on film area compression of porcine lipid extract surfactant (25 (0.9)% vs 26 (0.9)%, 39 (1.3)%, and 44 (1.1)%, respectively) (P < 0.01). Using synthetic surfactant (Exosurf), with a much lower original surface activity, bilirubin did not further inhibit its surface tension properties at any of the phospholipid doses studied. CONCLUSION: These results indicate that in vitro bilirubin impairs the surface tension activity of porcine lipid extract surfactant, but does not affect synthetic surfactant activity.

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