Randomized controlled trial of lung lavage with dilute surfactant for meconium aspiration syndrome

Peter Dargaville, Beverley Copnell, John Mills, Ismail Haron, Jimmy Lee, David Tingay, Jaafar Rohana, Lindsay Mildenhall, Mei-Jy Jeng, Anushree Narayanan, Malcolm Battin, Carl Kuschel, Joel Sadowsky, Harshad Patel, Charles Kilburn, J Carlin, Colin Morley

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    59 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To evaluate whether lung lavage with surfactant changes the duration of mechanical respiratory support or other outcomes in meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS). Study design: We conducted a randomized controlled trial that enrolled ventilated infants with MAS. Infants randomized to lavage received two 15-mL/kg aliquots of dilute bovine surfactant instilled into, and recovered from, the lung. Control subjects received standard care, which in both groups included high frequency ventilation, nitric oxide, and, where available, extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO). Results: Sixty-six infants were randomized, with one ineligible infant excluded from analysis. Median duration of respiratory support was similar in infants who underwent lavage and control subjects (5.5 versus 6.0 days, P = .77). Requirement for high frequency ventilation and nitric oxide did not differ between the groups. Fewer infants who underwent lavage died or required ECMO: 10% (3/30) compared with 31% (11/35) in the control group (odds ratio, 0.24; 95% confidence interval, 0.060-0.97). Lavage transiently reduced oxygen saturation without substantial heart rate or blood pressure alterations. Mean airway pressure was more rapidly weaned in the lavage group after randomization. Conclusion: Lung lavage with dilute surfactant does not alter duration of respiratory support, but may reduce mortality, especially in units not offering ECMO.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)383-389.e2
    Number of pages7
    JournalJournal of Pediatrics
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


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