The relationship between changes in airways pressure, pleural pressure, and cranial volume was studied in a group of sick newborn infants requiring ventilatory assistance. Cranial volume increased appreciably only when lung compliance was such that more than 20% of the applied airways pressure was transmitted to the pleural space, or if the absolute pleural pressure was greater than 4 cmH2O above atmospheric pressure. The findings stress the need for more-critical monitoring during periods of rapid change in lung compliance.
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