Randomized Trial of Late Surfactant Treatment in Ventilated Preterm Infants Receiving Inhaled Nitric Oxide

J Pediatr. 2016 Jan:168:23-29.e4. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2015.09.031. Epub 2015 Oct 21.


Objective: To assess whether late surfactant treatment in extremely low gestational age (GA) newborn infants requiring ventilation at 7-14 days, who often have surfactant deficiency and dysfunction, safely improves survival without bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD).

Study design: Extremely low GA newborn infants (GA ≤28 0/7 weeks) who required mechanical ventilation at 7-14 days were enrolled in a randomized, masked controlled trial at 25 US centers. All infants received inhaled nitric oxide and either surfactant (calfactant/Infasurf) or sham instillation every 1-3 days to a maximum of 5 doses while intubated. The primary outcome was survival at 36 weeks postmenstrual age (PMA) without BPD, as evaluated by physiological oxygen/flow reduction.

Results: A total of 511 infants were enrolled between January 2010 and September 2013. There were no differences between the treated and control groups in mean birth weight (701 ± 164 g), GA (25.2 ± 1.2 weeks), percentage born at GA <26 weeks (70.6%), race, sex, severity of lung disease at enrollment, or comorbidities of prematurity. Survival without BPD did not differ between the treated and control groups at 36 weeks PMA (31.3% vs 31.7%; relative benefit, 0.98; 95% CI, 0.75-1.28; P = .89) or 40 weeks PMA (58.7% vs 54.1%; relative benefit, 1.08; 95% CI, 0.92-1.27; P = .33). There were no between-group differences in serious adverse events, comorbidities of prematurity, or severity of lung disease to 36 weeks.

Conclusion: Late treatment with up to 5 doses of surfactant in ventilated premature infants receiving inhaled nitric oxide was well tolerated, but did not improve survival without BPD at 36 or 40 weeks. Pulmonary and neurodevelopmental assessments are ongoing.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01022580.

Publication types

  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / epidemiology
  • Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / mortality
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / therapy
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
  • Male
  • Nitric Oxide / administration & dosage*
  • Nitric Oxide / adverse effects
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / adverse effects
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / therapeutic use*
  • Respiration, Artificial / adverse effects*
  • Respiration, Artificial / mortality
  • Survival Rate
  • United States


  • Pulmonary Surfactants
  • Nitric Oxide

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT01022580