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Signa Vitae

Journal of Intensive Care and Emergency Medicine

Exogenous Surfactant Treatment in Children with ARDS


Since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved exogenous surfactant in the early 90s for the treatment of neonates with Hyaline Membrane Disease (HMD), many studies have focused on enlarging its indications for others types of lung injuries and for other age groups. Although in the past 20 years no studies have shown clear results about the efficacy of exogenous surfactant treatment in paediatric Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), many of them were able to point out and better define very important aspects of this treatment like dosage, timing, ways of administration and usage of different types of surfactant (natural and synthetic). In this review we retrace the development of studies looking at the role of exogenous surfactant treatment in paediatric ARDS.

Key words: surfactant, ARDS, bronchoalveolar lavage.

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Diluted porcine surfactant lung lavages in children with severe ARDS


Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is characterized by damage to the arteriolar-capillary endothelium and alveolar epithelium that leads to surfactant deficiency and atelectasis.  Alveolar collapse and pulmonary edema will further induce surfactant inactivation. Surfactant supplementation has been suggested but results are unpredictable. Poor response may be due to inhibition of administered surfactant by plasma components filling the alveolar space, severity of lung injury, time of surfactant application and inadequate dose. We report the course of gas exchange and pulmonary mechanics after instillation  of surfactant in 14 children (3 months-7 years) with severe ARDS, defined as an oxygenation index (OI) > 30 and a partial pressure of oxygen/ fraction of Inspired oxygen (PaO2/FiO2) 200 for more than 12 hours.  Diluted surfactant lung lavages were able to increase blood gas exchange in all our patients despite previously severe gas exchange impairment.

Keywords: ARDS, pulmonary surfactant, bronchoalveolar lavages, child


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