We measured the levels of type IV collagen and lipid peroxides in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) from infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) to determine the relationship to the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). We analyzed their levels between two groups, RDS infants who developed BPD (n = 8, BPD group) and those who did not (n = 11, RDS group). The levels of the type IV collagen in the BPD group were significantly higher than those in the RDS group at 3 and 7 days of age (p = 0.0024). In the BPD group, persistently increased levels of the type IV collagen were observed during the period up to 14 days of age. There was a positive relationship between the type IV collagen levels and polymorphonuclear leukocyte counts, and thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance levels in BALF. These results suggest that the increased type IV collagen levels in BALF of BPD infants may reflect pulmonary basement membrane damage and the involvement of oxygen metabolites in its process.

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