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Biol Neonate. 2005;87(4):217-20. Epub 2005 Jan 13.

Laryngeal mask airway used as a delivery conduit for the administration of surfactant to preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome.

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Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Padua University, Padua, Italy.



The laryngeal mask airway (LMA(TM), Laryngeal Mask Co. Ltd, Jersey, UK) is a supraglottic device used to administer positive pressure ventilation (PPV) in adults, pediatric and neonatal patients.


To avoid endotracheal intubation, we evaluated the feasibility and practicality of administering surfactant via the LMA(TM) in preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).


Infants less than 72 h old with a gestational age of < or =35 weeks and a birth weight of >800 g, treated with nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP, 5 cm H2O) for RDS were eligible for inclusion in the study if the arterial-to-alveolar oxygen tension ratio (a/APO2) was <0.20 over a period of >60 min.


Eight preterm infants, median gestational age 31 (range 28-35) weeks; birth weight 1,700 (880-2,520) g, treated with nasal CPAP for RDS were enrolled. Three hours after surfactant instillation, the mean a/APO2 was significantly increased (0.13 +/- 0.04 to 0.34 +/- 0.11; p < 0.01) without complications.


The LMA may be a useful and noninvasive conduit for the administration of surfactant therapy. A large randomized comparative clinical trial will be required to confirm the efficacy of this technique.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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