Ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) is a serious complication related to mechanical ventilation in the neonatal period. However, lack of a specific definition and difficulties obtaining noncontaminated samples of the lower respiratory airway render microbiological diagnosis and etiological treatment extremely difficult. Thus far, only few studies have approached VAP using accepted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria and reliable sampling techniques. In recent years, however, the blind-protected bronchoalveolar lavage technique with protected specimen brush and the development of validated biomarkers have attempted to overcome the diagnostic difficulties and assess the response to therapy. This updated review on neonatal VAP aims to stimulate neonatologists' interest in this subtle but serious complication of mechanical ventilation.
© 2013 S. Karger AG, Basel.