Aerosol delivery to ventilated newborn infants: historical challenges and new directions

Eur J Pediatr. 2011 Apr;170(4):433-44. doi: 10.1007/s00431-010-1292-6. Epub 2010 Sep 28.


There are several aerosolized drugs which have been used in the treatment of neonatal respiratory illnesses, such as bronchodilators, diuretics, and surfactants. Preclinical in vitro and in vivo studies identified a number of variables that affect aerosol efficiency, including particle size, aerosol flows, nebulizer choice, and placement. Nevertheless, an optimized aerosol drug delivery system for mechanically ventilated infants still does not exist. Increasing interest in this form of drug delivery requires more controlled and focused research of drug/device combinations appropriate for the neonatal population. In the present article, we review the research that has been conducted thus far and discuss the next steps in developing the optimal aerosol delivery system for use in mechanically ventilated neonates.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Aerosols / administration & dosage*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / instrumentation*
  • Drug Delivery Systems / methods*
  • Drug Dosage Calculations
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Particle Size
  • Respiration, Artificial*


  • Aerosols