Blood gases and pulmonary blood flow during resuscitation of very preterm lambs treated with antenatal betamethasone and/or Curosurf: effect of positive end-expiratory pressure

Pediatr Res. 2007 Jul;62(1):37-42. doi: 10.1203/PDR.0b013e31806790ed.


Resuscitation of very premature lambs with positive end-expiratory pressure (PEEP) improves oxygenation and reduces pulmonary blood flow (PBF). However, the effects of PEEP on blood gases and PBF have not been studied in preterm lambs receiving antenatal corticosteroids or postnatal surfactant. Lambs were delivered at 125 d of gestation (term 147 d) and ventilated with a tidal volume (VT) of 5 mL/kg using different levels of PEEP. Four treatment groups were studied: (1) antenatal betamethasone 24 and 36 h before delivery; (2) postnatal Curosurf; (3) antenatal betamethasone and postnatal Curosurf; (4) untreated controls. Blood gases, PBF, and ventilator parameters were recorded during the first 2 h. Increasing PEEP improved oxygenation even after antenatal betamethasone and postnatal Curosurf, without adverse effects on arterial PCO2. Increasing PEEP reduced PBF; this effect was not altered by betamethasone and/or Curosurf. In very preterm lambs ventilated with fixed VT, increasing levels of PEEP improved oxygenation after antenatal glucocorticoids and/or postnatal surfactant. These treatments do not alter the deleterious effects of high levels of PEEP on PBF.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Betamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Biological Products / pharmacology*
  • Blood Gas Analysis
  • Female
  • Fetus* / drug effects
  • Fetus* / physiology
  • Gestational Age
  • Glucocorticoids / pharmacology
  • Phospholipids / pharmacology*
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration*
  • Pregnancy
  • Premature Birth
  • Pulmonary Circulation*
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / pharmacology*
  • Regional Blood Flow
  • Resuscitation*
  • Sheep, Domestic


  • Biological Products
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Phospholipids
  • Pulmonary Surfactants
  • Betamethasone
  • poractant alfa