Poractant alpha is a pulmonary surfactant used for the treatment of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in premature infants with an endogenous pulmonary surfactant deficiency. Poractant alpha is a natural porcine pulmonary surfactant extract consisting of 99% polar lipids (mainly phospholipids) and 1% hydrophobic low-molecular-weight proteins (surfactant-associated proteins SP-B and SP-C). The phospholipid content of the extract consists mainly of phosphatidylcholine and its di-saturated component dipalmitoyl phosphatidylcholine.
The endogenous pulmonary surfactant reduces the surface tension at the air-liquid interface of the alveoli in the lungs, thereby preventing them from collapsing under transpulmonary pressure. A lack of pulmonary surfactant in premature infants causes the surface tension to increase to the point where sections of the lung collapse and respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) develops. Poractant alpha lowers the minimum surface tension and restores adequate lung surface activity.
- Treatment of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in premature infants