Background: There are few studies using animal models in chest physical therapy. However, there are no models to assess these effects in newborns. This study aimed to develop a model of obstructive atelectasis induced by artificial mucus injection in the lungs of newborn piglets, for the study of neonatal physiotherapy.
Methods: Thirteen newborn piglets received artificial mucus injection via the endotracheal tube. X-rays and blood gas analysis confirmed the atelectasis.
Results: The model showed consistent results between oxygenation parameters and radiological findings. Ten (76.9%) of the 13 piglets responded to the intervention. This did not significantly differ from the expected percentage of 50% by the binomial test (95% CI 46.2-95%, P = .09).
Conclusions: Our model of atelectasis in newborn piglets is both feasible and appropriate to evaluate the impact of physical therapies on atelectasis in newborns.
Keywords: animal model; atelectasis; mechanical ventilation; mucus; newborn; physiotherapy; swine.