Surfactant administration to the human fetus in utero: a new approach to prevention of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome (RDS)

J Perinat Med. 1996;24(2):191-3. doi: 10.1515/jpme.1996.24.2.191.


Supplementary surfactant (80 mg in 1 ml) was administered intra-amniotically in proximity of the fetal mouth to 4 preterm fetuses (28 to 32 wks) with immature amniotic fluid indexes and whose delivery was imminent. Administration was preceded by a aminophylline infusion (loading dose of 240 mg and maintenance of 0.8 mg/kg/min) to the mother in order to elicit sustained fetal breathing movements. Following delivery by cesarean section, the absence of signs of respiratory distress in the infants along with a completely uneventful clinical course suggests that the present therapeutic approach has great potential for becoming a reliable option for the antenatal prevention of RDS.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aminophylline / administration & dosage
  • Aminophylline / therapeutic use
  • Amnion*
  • Amniotic Fluid / chemistry
  • Cesarean Section
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Phosphatidylcholines / analysis
  • Phosphatidylglycerols / analysis
  • Pregnancy
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / administration & dosage*
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / therapeutic use*
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn / prevention & control*
  • Sphingomyelins / analysis


  • Phosphatidylcholines
  • Phosphatidylglycerols
  • Pulmonary Surfactants
  • Sphingomyelins
  • Aminophylline