Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science




Dr. Ruud Veldhuizen

Second Advisor

Dr. James Lewis

Third Advisor

Dr. Fred Possmayer


The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) carries a mortality rate of approximately 30% and is characterized by poor oxygenation, decreased lung compliance, and pulmonary edema. The first study in this thesis examined the combination of high frequency oscillatory ventilation (HFO) and exogenous surfactant treatment in an acid- induced lung injury model in rats. It was hypothesized that HFO and surfactant combined is superior to either intervention individually. The second study tested whether surfactant supplementation with a polymer called chitosan would improve surfactant treatment in the same acid model. It was hypothesized that chitosan added to surfactant would be superior to surfactant treatment alone. HFO significantly improved oxygenation compared to CMV regardless of surfactant treatment, but surfactant improved oxygenation during CMV. Surfactant supplementation with chitosan worsened lung injury compared to surfactant alone. It was found that neither the combination of HFO and surfactant nor chitosan improved the response to exogenous surfactant therapy.



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