Is surfactant therapy beneficial in the treatment of the term newborn infant with congenital diaphragmatic hernia?

J Pediatr. 2004 Sep;145(3):312-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2004.04.056.


Objectives: To determine the impact of surfactant replacement on survival, need for extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), and chronic lung disease in term infants with prenatally diagnosed congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH).

Study design: Prenatally diagnosed infants born at > or =37 weeks' gestation with immediate distress at delivery and no other major congenital anomalies, who were enrolled in the CDH Registry, were analyzed. For univariate analysis, chi 2 tests were used for categoric variables and unpaired t tests for nominal variables. Multiple logistic regression was used to calculate adjusted odds ratios.

Results: Eligible infants (n = 522) were identified. Demographic variables were similar between the surfactant-treated (n = 192) and nonsurfactant-treated (n = 330) groups, with the exception of race (white, 88.0% vs 71.2%; P =.0007). The use of ECMO and incidence of chronic lung disease were higher (59.8 vs 50.6, P =.04; 59.9 vs 47.6, P =.0066) and survival lower in the surfactant-treated cohort (57.3 vs 70.0, P =.0033). Adjusted logistic regression for use of ECMO, survival, and chronic lung disease resulted in odds ratios inconsistent with an improved outcome associated with surfactant use.

Conclusions: This analysis shows no benefit associated with surfactant therapy for term infants with a prenatal diagnosis of isolated CDH.

MeSH terms

  • Apgar Score
  • Birth Rate
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation*
  • Female
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic* / mortality
  • Hernia, Diaphragmatic* / therapy
  • Hernias, Diaphragmatic, Congenital
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Prenatal Diagnosis
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / therapeutic use*
  • Registries
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Pulmonary Surfactants