Objectives: To assess the effect of surfactant administration, preceded or not by bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) with dilute surfactant, on pulmonary function in experimental severe meconium aspiration syndrome.
Methods: Twenty-one newborn pigs received 20% meconium in saline intratracheally and were randomly allocated to one of three groups: I, control; II, surfactant only (poractant alfa, 200 mg/kg); or III, dilute surfactant BAL followed by 125 mg/kg surfactant. Arterial blood gases (ABGs), lung compliance, and resistance were assessed.
Results: Thirty minutes after treatment, mean PaO2 (mm Hg) increased to 72 in group I, to 106 in group II and to 172 in group III (P=0.01). After 3 h, mean PaO2 (mm Hg) was 70 in group I, 95 in group II and 198 in group III (P<0.01). After 6 h, it was 79 in group I, 110 in group II, and 217 in group III (P=0.01). From the 30-min point onward, there were significant differences among treatment groups in all other parameters and at every point of assessment, except for compliance and resistance 3 h after treatment.
Conclusions: BAL with dilute surfactant, followed by an additional dose of surfactant, produced significant improvements in ABGs and pulmonary mechanics as compared with a single dose of surfactant.