Aerosolization has been proposed as a useful alternative to rapid intratracheal instillation for the delivery of exogenous surfactant in neonatal respiratory distress syndrome. However, there is a lack of information regarding the likely safety of this new therapeutic approach for the neonatal brain. We aimed to compare the cerebral effects of aerosolized versus bolus surfactant administration in premature lambs with respiratory distress syndrome.
Prospective randomized study.
BioCruces Institute Animal Research Facility.
Fourteen intensively monitored and mechanically ventilated preterm lambs.
Preterm lambs were randomly assigned to receive intratracheal aerosolized surfactant or bolus surfactant. Brain hemodynamics (cerebral and regional cerebral blood flow) and cerebral oxygen metabolism (cerebral oxygen delivery, cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen, and oxygen extraction fraction) were measured every 30 minutes for 6 hours. We also performed cerebral biochemical and histological analysis.
Measurements and Main Results:
In preterm lambs with respiratory distress syndrome, cerebral blood flow, regional cerebral blood flow, cerebral oxygen delivery, and cerebral metabolic rate of oxygen increased significantly in the bolus surfactant group during the first 5 minutes, without changes in cerebral oxygen extraction fraction. By 60 minutes, all parameters had decreased in both groups, cerebral blood flow and regional cerebral blood flow (in inner and cerebellum brainstem regions) remaining higher in the bolus surfactant than in the aerosolized surfactant group. Overall, the impact of aerosol surfactant was not significantly different to that of bolus surfactant in terms of cerebral necrosis, edema, inflammation, hemorrhage, infarct, apoptosis, or oxidative stress.
In preterm lambs with severe respiratory distress syndrome, aerosol surfactant administration seems to be as safe as bolus administration, showing more stable cerebral hemodynamics and cerebral oxygen metabolism to the same dose of surfactant administered as a standard bolus.