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Korean J Pediatr 2017 September;60(9) :273-281.
Published online 2017 September 15.       
Update of minimally invasive surfactant therapy
Gyu-Hong Shim
Department of Pediatrics, Inje University Busan Paik Hospital, Busan, Korea
Corresponding Author: Gyu-Hong Shim ,Tel: +82-51-890-8899, Fax: +82-51-895-7785, Email:
Copyright © 2017 by The Korean Pediatric Society
To date, preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) after birth have been managed with a combination of endotracheal intubation, surfactant instillation, and mechanical ventilation. It is now recognized that noninvasive ventilation (NIV) such as nasal continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) in preterm infants is a reasonable alternative to elective intubation after birth. Recently, a meta-analysis of large controlled trials comparing conventional methods and nasal CPAP suggested that CPAP decreased the risk of the combined outcome of bronchopulmonary dysplasia or death. Since then, the use of NIV as primary therapy for preterm infants has increased, but when and how to give exogenous surfactant remains unclear. Overcoming this problem, minimally invasive surfactant therapy (MIST) allows spontaneously breathing neonates to remain on CPAP in the first week after birth. MIST has included administration of exogenous surfactant by intrapharyngeal instillation, nebulization, a laryngeal mask, and a thin catheter. In recent clinical trials, surfactant delivery via a thin catheter was found to reduce the need for subsequent endotracheal intubation and mechanical ventilation, and improves short-term respiratory outcomes. There is also growing evidence for MIST as an alternative to the INSURE (intubation-surfactant-extubation) procedure in spontaneously breathing preterm infants with RDS. In conclusion, MIST is gentle, safe, feasible, and effective in preterm infants, and is widely used for surfactant administration with noninvasive respiratory support by neonatologists. However, further studies are needed to resolve uncertainties in the MIST method, including infant selection, optimal surfactant dosage and administration method, and need for sedation.
Keywords: Respiratory distress syndrome | Surfactant | Noninvasive ventilation
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