Surfactant deficiency in full-term newborns with transient tachypnea delivered by elective C-section

Pediatr Pulmonol. 2016 Jun;51(6):596-600. doi: 10.1002/ppul.23338. Epub 2015 Nov 19.


Introduction: Previous studies have suggested that full-term newborns delivered by elective cesarean section who develop transient tachypnea have low gastric microbubble counts. In the present study, microbubble concentrations in oral fluid samples were used to evaluate pulmonary maturity.

Objective: To evaluate lung maturity in full-term newborns delivered by elective caesarean section using the stable microbubble test in oral aspirates collected at birth.

Method: The study involved newborns with gestational age >37 weeks delivered by elective cesarean section. Oral fluid samples were obtained in the delivery room immediately after birth, and gastric fluid was collected within the first hour of life. Samples were frozen and analyzed by two blinded researchers.

Results: The sample comprised 544 newborns. Twenty-two were diagnosed with transient tachypnea of the newborn by the assisting physician, and required admission to the Neonatal Intensive or Intermediate Care Unit. The median (interquartile range) of the number of microbubbles in the oral samples of these patients was 67.5 (45-150) microbubbles/mm(2) . The remaining 498 newborns without respiratory difficulties had a count of 350 (150-750) microbubbles/mm(2) -P < 0.001. Gastric fluid tests revealed a count of 150 (82.5-700) microbubbles/mm(2) for neonates with respiratory difficulties, and of 600 (216-1125) microbubbles/mm(2) -P < 0.05 for those without respiratory symptoms.

Conclusion: The present results suggest that transient tachypnea of the newborn is associated with surfactant dysfunction. Pediatr Pulmonol. 2016;51:596-600. © 2015 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

Keywords: Microbubbles; diseases; infant; newborn; term birth.

MeSH terms

  • Body Fluids / chemistry*
  • Cesarean Section*
  • Female
  • Gastric Juice / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lung / metabolism*
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Lung / physiopathology
  • Male
  • Microbubbles*
  • Mouth / chemistry*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / analysis*
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / metabolism
  • Term Birth*
  • Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn / metabolism
  • Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn / physiopathology*


  • Pulmonary Surfactants