Nebulization of Poractant alfa via a vibrating membrane nebulizer in spontaneously breathing preterm lambs with binasal continuous positive pressure ventilation

Matthias C. Hütten, Elke Kuypers, Daan R Ophelders, Maria Nikiforou, Reint K Jellema, Hendrik J Niemarkt, Carola Fuchs, Markus Tservistas, Roberta Razetti, Federico Bianco, Boris W Kramer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BACKGROUND: Surfactant replacement therapy is the gold standard treatment of neonatal respiratory distress (RDS). Nebulization is a noninvasive mode of surfactant administration. We administered Poractant alfa (Curosurf) via a vibrating perforated membrane nebulizer (eFlow Neonatal Nebulizer) to spontaneously breathing preterm lambs during binasal continuous positive pressure ventilation (CPAP).

METHODS: Sixteen preterm lambs were operatively delivered at a gestational age of 133 ± 1 d (term ~150 d), and connected to CPAP applied via customized nasal prongs. Nebulization was performed (i) with saline or (ii) with surfactant for 3 h in humidified or (iii) nonhumidified air, and with surfactant (iv) for 60 min or (v) for 30 min. We measured arterial oxygenation, lung gas volumes and surfactant pool size and deposition.

RESULTS: Nebulization of surfactant in humidified air for 3 h improved oxygenation and lung function, and surfactant was preferentially distributed to the lower lung lobes. Shorter nebulization times and 3 h nebulization in dry air did not show these effects. Nebulized surfactant reached all lung lobes, however the increase of surfactant pool size missed statistical significance.

CONCLUSION: Positive effects of surfactant nebulization to spontaneously breathing preterm lambs depend on treatment duration, surfactant dose, air humidity, and surfactant distribution within the lung.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)664-9
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015


  • Administration, Inhalation
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Biological Products
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Equipment Design
  • Gestational Age
  • Lung
  • Membranes, Artificial
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers
  • Phospholipids
  • Premature Birth
  • Pulmonary Surfactants
  • Respiration
  • Respiratory Distress Syndrome, Newborn
  • Sheep
  • Time Factors
  • Vibration

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