Respiratory distress syndrome occurs mostly in premature infants with high risk of oxidative stress, free radicals and other reactive species which are constantly generated in vivo and cause oxidative damage to DNA and lipid. Antioxidants delay or inhibit cellular damage mainly through their free radical scavenging property, some of it including vitamins C and E. The study was done on sixty preterm neonates with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS), in addition to twenty apparently healthy full term neonates as normal controls to determine the serum levels of the oxidant lipid peroxide and the antioxidant vitamins E and C. The mean levels of serum lipid peroxide which is the end product of lipid peroxidation were found to be higher with variable degrees of significant differences. The raised serum levels of lipid peroxide in neonates with RDS may be due to activated macrophages releasing highly reactive radicals that may cause local disruption of essential structures, and we found that the mean ± standard deviation (SD) levels of serum vitamin C and E were lower with variable degrees of significant differences.
Key words: Respiratory distress syndrome, vitamin C and E, lipid peroxide free radicals, macrophages.
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