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

Biol Neonate. 2005;87(4):217-20. doi: 10.1159/000083370. Epub 2005 Jan 13.


Background: 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.

Objectives: 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).

Methods: 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.

Results: 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.

Conclusions: 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.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Biological Products / administration & dosage*
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / blood
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Laryngeal Masks*
  • Male
  • Phospholipids / administration & dosage*
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / administration & dosage*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / blood
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / drug therapy*


  • Biological Products
  • Phospholipids
  • Pulmonary Surfactants
  • poractant alfa