Natural surfactant extract versus synthetic surfactant for neonatal respiratory distress syndrome.
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BACKGROUND: This section is under preparation and will be included in the next issue. OBJECTIVES: To compare the effect of synthetic surfactant to natural surfactant in premature infants with established respiratory distress syndrome. SEARCH STRATEGY: Searches were made of the Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials, Medline (MeSH terms: pulmonary surfactant; limits: age groups, newborn infant; publication type, clinical trial), previous reviews including cross references, abstracts, conference and symposia proceedings, expert informants, and journal hand searching in the English language. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomized controlled trials comparing administration of synthetic surfactants to administration of natural surfactant extracts in premature infants with respiratory distress syndrome were considered for this review. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data regarding clinical outcomes including pneumothorax, patent ductus arteriosus, necrotizing enterocolitis, intraventricular hemorrhage (all intraventricular hemorrhage and severe intraventricular hemorrhage), chronic lung disease, retinopathy of prematurity, and mortality were excerpted by the primary reviewer (R. Soll). Data analysis was conducted according to the standards of the Neonatal Cochrane Review Group. MAIN RESULTS: The meta-analysis supports a significant reduction in the risk of pneumothorax (typical relative risk 0.68, 95% CI 0.56, 0.83; typical risk difference -0.04 95% CI -0.06, -0.02). No disadvantages to natural surfactant extract treatment are noted regarding other outcomes. A trend towards reduced mortality is noted in association with natural surfactant extract treatment. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Both natural surfactant extracts and synthetic surfactant extracts are effective in the treatment of established respiratory distress syndrome. Comparative trials demonstrate greater early improvement in the requirement for ventilatory support and fewer pneumothoraces associated with natural surfactant extract treatment. On clinical grounds, natural surfactant extracts would seem to be the more desirable choice.
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