Objective: Oxidant injury and lung inflammation in extremely premature infants are associated with the development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Surfactant dysfunction resulting from these events may contribute to the pathogenesis of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. Treatment with exogenous surfactant may decrease the incidence or severity of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. We conducted a masked, multicenter, multinational, randomized, controlled, pilot study to estimate the effects of treating infants at high risk for developing bronchopulmonary dysplasia with lucinactant, a synthetic, peptide-containing surfactant, on safety during dosing and the incidence of death or bronchopulmonary dysplasia.
Methods: Preterm infants between 600 and 900 g requiring mechanical ventilation and a fraction of inspired oxygen of > or =0.30 between 3 and 10 days of age were randomly assigned to receive either sham air (placebo) or 1 of 2 doses of lucinactant (90 or 175 mg/kg total phospholipid) every 48 hours to a maximum of 5 doses, if they remained on mechanical ventilation.
Results: Of 136 infants enrolled at 34 sites, 44 received placebo, 47 received 90 mg/kg total phospholipid, and 45 received 175 mg/kg total phospholipid. The 90 mg/kg group had a significantly higher percentage of boys (64%) compared with the placebo group (39%); no other significant differences in baseline characteristics among groups were present. Compared with placebo, both the 90 mg/kg and 175 mg/kg groups experienced a significantly higher incidence of desaturation and bradycardia during dosing. Twenty-four hours after dosing, the mean fraction of inspired oxygen was lower in both lucinactant groups (33%) compared with the placebo group (39%). The incidence of mortality or bronchopulmonary dysplasia was 66% in the placebo group, 79% in the 90 mg/kg group, and 58% in the 175 mg/kg group. These differences were not statistically significant. There were no statistical differences among groups for pneumothorax, pulmonary interstitial emphysema, intraventricular hemorrhage, periventricular leukomalacia, retinopathy of prematurity, or mortality.
Conclusions: There were trends toward lower oxygen requirements and toward a lower incidence of mortality or bronchopulmonary dysplasia at 36 weeks' postmenstrual age in infants who received the higher dose of lucinactant, and this warrants further investigation.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00215540.