Randomized controlled trial of very early continuous distending pressure in the management of preterm infants

Early Hum Dev. 1987 Jan;15(1):21-32. doi: 10.1016/0378-3782(87)90097-1.


Application of continuous distending pressure at birth (very early CDP) should stabilize the immature airways and reduce the severity of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) in preterm infants. Eighty-two preterm infants of less than 32 weeks gestation were randomly assigned at birth to early treatment group (TG), in which CDP of 6 cm water pressure was applied at birth by the nasopharyngeal route (NP-CDP), or to control group (CG), in which CDP was applied when indicated for established criteria (pO2 less than 50 mmHg in FiO2 greater than 0.5). Characteristics of the infants in the two groups were comparable. No statistically significant difference between the two groups was found in the incidence of RDS. The course of RDS, and oxygen and ventilatory requirements also did not appear to be changed. In blood gas parameters of most of the time frames, no significant difference was found between the two groups when the results were analyzed according to the assigned group. When the results were analyzed separately for the infants who developed RDS, infants in TG appear to have fared worse from the therapy in terms of oxygenation, as indicated by significantly higher FiO2 (P less than 0.01) and lower a/A (P less than 0.01) values on the third day of the course of RDS, as compared to infants in CG. The incidence of complications was comparable in the two groups. Four infants from TG (9.3%) and one from CG (2.6%) died (P = NS). We conclude that VECDP by nasopharyngeal route does not reduce the incidence of RDS and does not appear to improve the outcome and may worsen the severity of RDS when compared to application of CDP for established criteria.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Blood
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Nasopharynx
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Oxygen / therapeutic use
  • Positive-Pressure Respiration*
  • Random Allocation
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / physiopathology
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / prevention & control*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / therapy


  • Carbon Dioxide
  • Oxygen