Rationale: Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) is an important complication of mechanical ventilation in preterm infants, and no definite therapy can eliminate this complication. Pulmonary inflammation plays a crucial role in its pathogenesis, and glucocorticoid is one potential therapy to prevent BPD.
Objectives: To compare the effect of intratracheal administration of surfactant/budesonide with that of surfactant alone on the incidence of death or BPD.
Methods: A clinical trial was conducted in three tertiary neonatal centers in the United States and Taiwan, in which 265 very-low-birth-weight infants with severe respiratory distress syndrome who required mechanical ventilation and inspired oxygen (fraction of inspired oxygen, ≥50%) within 4 hours of birth were randomly assigned to one of two groups (131 intervention and 134 control). The intervention infants received surfactant (100 mg/kg) and budesonide (0.25 mg/kg), and the control infants received surfactant only (100 mg/kg), until each infant required inspired O2 at less than 30% or was extubated.
Measurements and main results: The intervention group had a significantly lower incidence of BPD or death (55 of 131 [42.0%] vs. 89 of 134 [66%]; risk ratio, 0.58; 95% confidence interval, 0.44-0.77; P < 0.001; number needed to treat, 4.1; 95% confidence interval, 2.8-7.8). The intervention group required significantly fewer doses of surfactant than did the control group. The intervention group had significantly lower interleukin levels (IL-1, IL-6, IL-8) in tracheal aspirates at 12 hours and lower IL-8 at 3-5 and 7-8 days.
Conclusions: In very-low-birth-weight infants with severe respiratory distress syndrome, intratracheal administration of surfactant/budesonide compared with surfactant alone significantly decreased the incidence of BPD or death without immediate adverse effect. Clinical trial registered with www.clinicaltrials.gov (NCT-00883532).
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00883532.
Keywords: bronchopulmonary dysplasia; budesonide; respiratory distress syndrome; surfactant; very-low-birth-weight infants.