Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 21-26
Original Article

Exogenous Surfactant Therapy for Pediatric Patients with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome

James F Lewis,1 Jasvinder S Dhillon,2 Ram N Singh,1 Craig C Johnson,1 and Timothy C Frewen3

1Department of Medicine, St Joseph’s Health Centre, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
2Paediatric Critical Care Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Western Ontario, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada
3Paediatric Intensive Care Unit, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Copyright © 1997 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Exogenous surfactant administration is currently being tested in patients with the acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). The results of the studies have varied because several factors may influence the host’s response to this therapy. This clinical pilot study was designed to evaluate the safety and efficacy of exogenous surfactant administration in pediatric patients with ARDS. Surfactant was administered to 13 patients with severe lung dysfunction, and eight of these patients experienced a significant improvement in oxygenation after the first dose of surfactant. In these patients the exogenous surfactant was administered within 48 h of the diagnosis of ARDS, whereas in the five patients who did not respond, surfactant was administered several days after the onset of ARDS. Responders also spent fewer days on a mechanical ventilator and less time in intensive care compared with nonresponders. Based on the results of this pilot study, a more appropriate multicentre clinical trial should be designed to evaluate this treatment strategy.