Nebulisation of surfactants in an animal model of neonatal respiratory distress
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AIMS: To evaluate pulmonary deposition and gas exchange following nebulisation of two surfactants by either a jet or an ultrasonic nebuliser. METHOD: After bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL), 19 rabbits were ventilated in four groups. Group A1 (n = 5) and A2 (n = 6) received Technetium-99m labelled Exosurf, and groups B1 (n = 4) and B2 (n = 4) received radiolabelled Survanta. Groups A1 and B1 received jet nebuliser therapy, whereas groups A2 and B2 received ultrasonic nebuliser. Pulmonary deposition, distribution, and blood gases were determined. RESULTS: Pulmonary deposition as per cent of initial dose and mg lipid) was 0.28(0.10)% or 0.59(0.21) mg in group A1, 1.05(0.23)% or 2.21(0.48) mg in group A2, 0.08(0.02)% or 0.30(0.08) mg in group B1, and 0.09(0.02)% or 0.34(0.08) mg in group B2. Deposition in group A2 was greater than in other groups (p = 0.001). Group A2 showed a small improvement in blood gases. CONCLUSIONS: Even the highest deposition--ultrasonic nebuliser with Exosurf--achieved limited clinical effect. The aerosol route is currently not effective for surfactant treatment.
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