An attempt to use immunohistochemical methods for semi-quantitative determination of surfactant in bronchial secretion after hyperbaric exposures

Piotr Siermontowski, Agnieszka Pedrycz, Janusz Kopczyński, Dorota Kaczerska, Katarzyna van Damme-Ostapowicz, Romuald Olszański




The most significant index of pulmonary oxygen toxicity is a decrease in vital capacity (VC) dependent on the duration of exposure and partial pressure of oxygen. The only method to measure this decrease is spirometry performed directly after exposure.


The aim of the study was to check whether the extent of lung damage could be assessed by quantitative determination of pulmonary surfactant in bronchial secretion.


Sputum samples were collected before, during and after hyperbaric air or oxygen exposures; histological preparations were prepared and stained immunohistochemically to visualize surfactant.

Amongst 781 samples collected, only 209 contained sputum and only 126 were included in the study. In this group, only 64 preparations could be paired for comparison.


The semi-quantitative method used and statistical findings have not demonstrated any significance.


The method suggested for assessing the extent of lung damage has been found unsuitable for practical use due to difficulties in obtaining the proper material; moreover, the study findings do not allow to draw conclusions concerning its effectiveness.  


Key words: oxygen toxicity, lung surfactant, immunochemical methods, detection


oxygen toxicity, lung surfactant, immunochemical methods, detection

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