Treatment of severe meconium aspiration syndrome with porcine surfactant. Collaborative Surfactant Study Group

Eur J Pediatr. 1996 Dec;155(12):1047-51. doi: 10.1007/BF02532529.


This study is based on clinical data from a retrospective series of 54 infants with meconium aspiration syndrome treated with porcine surfactant at a median age of 14 h (range 1-176 h). Median arterial/ alveolar oxygen tension ratio (a/A PO2 ratio) before treatment was 0.08 (range 0.02-0.23) and oxygenation index 25 (range 6-110). After treatment with surfactant at an initial dose of 50-200 mg/kg there was a modest but statistically significant increase in a/APO2 ratio associated with a reduction of oxygenation index. Ten (18%) babies showed a 3-4 fold increase in a/APO2 ratio within 1-2 h of treatment. Twenty-four (44%) babies showed little or no response by 1-2 h with the remaining infants showing modest improvement in oxygenation. One third of babies required repeated doses of surfactant. Twenty-eight day survival was 81%, with two babies requiring extracorporeal membrane oxygenation.

Conclusion: Natural surfactant treatment of severe meconium aspiration may prove to be a useful intervention and randomised controlled clinical trials should be undertaken.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biological Products*
  • Carbon Dioxide / blood
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Meconium Aspiration Syndrome / therapy*
  • Oxygen / blood
  • Phospholipids*
  • Pulmonary Surfactants / therapeutic use*
  • Respiration, Artificial
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Biological Products
  • Phospholipids
  • Pulmonary Surfactants
  • Carbon Dioxide
  • poractant alfa
  • Oxygen