Sustained lung inflation at birth for preterm infants at risk of respiratory distress syndrome: The proper pressure and duration

BACKGROUND: Variations exist among the administered pressure and duration of sustained lung inflation (SLI) in the delivery room (DR). We aimed to evaluate the appropriate pressure and duration needed for SLI in preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome.
METHODS: We prospectively randomized 100 preterm (<32 weeks) infants to receive either conventional therapy of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) at 5 cm H2O, or four groups of CPAP plus a single maneuver of SLI at four regimens based on administered pressures and durations; P20D20 (Pressure of 20 cm H2O for a duration of 20 seconds), P20D10 (20 cm H2O for 10 seconds), P15D20 (15 cm H2O for 20 seconds), and P15D10 (15 cm H2O for 10 seconds) using a T-piece ventilator. The primary outcome was the need for endotracheal intubation (ETT) in the DR. Broncho-alveolar lavage (BAL) was obtained from intubated infants for interleukin-10 (IL-10) assessment.
RESULTS: SLI decreased the need for ETT in the DR (21% versus 55%, p < 0.01) compared to conventional therapy. ETT requirement was significantly lower in P20D10 (20%), P15D20 (20%), and P15D10 (20%) groups, but not P20D20 (25%) compared to the conventional group (55%, p < 0.05). Group P20D20 had significant higher BAL levels of IL-10 [713.8 (IQR 611-874) versus 535.4 (IQR 480-563) pg/ml, p < 0.05] compared to the conventional group, and to other SLI groups. Pneumothorax was not significantly different among studied groups.
CONCLUSION: SLI for a pressure and duration ≥20 cm H2O for 20 seconds is not superior to lower pressures for shorter duration and may be injurious to lungs.

*Corresponding Author: 

Nehad Nasef, Department of Pediatrics, Mansoura, University Children’s Hospital, Gomhoria Street, Mansoura 35516, Egypt. Tel.: +2 01001229299; Fax: +2 050 2238675; E-mail: