MINIMALLY-INVASIVE SURFACTANT THERAPY: CURRENT PRACTICE AND FUTURE TRENDS
Dr. Sudhir Mehta*
Minimally-invasive surfactant therapy has the potential to ease the burden of respiratory morbidity in preterm infants. It is now recognized that preterm infants ≤28 weeks gestation can be effectively supported from the outset with nasal continuous positive airway pressure. However, this form of respiratory therapy may fail to adequately support those infants with significant surfactant deficiency, with the result that intubation and delayed surfactant therapy are then required. Infants following this path are known to have a higher risk of adverse outcomes, including death, bronchopulmonary dysplasia and other morbidities. In an effort to circumvent this problem, techniques of minimally-invasive surfactant therapy have been developed, in which exogenous surfactant is administered to a spontaneously breathing infant who can then remain on continuous positive airway pressure. This less invasive surfactant administration technique shows some short-term benefits but still cannot be recommended for general use in this vulnerable population. Long-term follow-up studies are needed to allow new recommendations on surfactant therapy in this high-risk population.
Keywords: MIST, Preterm infants, Respiratory distress syndrome.
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