A randomized controlled trial of restricted versus standard fluid management in late preterm and term infants with transient tachypnea of the newborn


BACKGROUND: Transient tachypnea of the newborn(TTNB) is the most common respiratory morbidity in late preterm and term babies and is pathophysiologically related to delayed lung fluid clearance after birth. Mimicking low physiological fluid intake in the initial period of life may accelerate the recovery from TTNB. In a randomized controlled trial, we compared the roles of restricted versus standard fluid management in babies with TTNB requiring respiratory support.

METHODS: This parallel group,non-blinded, stratified randomized controlled trial was conducted in a level III neonatal unit of eastern India. Late preterm and term babies with TTNB requiring continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) were randomly allocated to standard and restricted fluid arms for the first 72 hours (hrs). Primary outcome was CPAP duration.

RESULTS: In total, 100 babies were enrolled in this study with 50 babies in each arm. CPAP duration was significantly less in the restricted arm (48[42, 54] hrs vs 54[48,72] hrs, p  = 0.002). However, no difference was observed in the incidence of CPAP failure between the two arms. In the subgroup analysis, the benefit of reduced CPAP duration persisted in late preterm but not in term infants. However, the effect was not significant in the late preterm babies exposed to antenatal steroid.

CONCLUSION: This trial demonstrated the safety and effectiveness of restrictive fluid strategy in reducing CPAP duration in late preterm and term babies with TTNB. Late preterm babies, especially those not exposed to antenatal steroid were the most benefitted by this strategy. 

*Corresponding Author: 

Somnath Pal, Assistant Professor, Department of Neonatology, Institute of Post Graduate Medical Education & Research and SSKM Hospital, Kolkata, India. Address - 30/1B, Old Ballygunge First Lane, P.S- Karaya, P.O- Ballygunge, District- Kolkata, West Bengal, India. Tel.: +91 9903457386; E-mail: somnathpal1983@gmail.com.