The effects of inhaled albuterol in transient tachypnea of the newborn

Myo-Jing Kim, Jae-Ho Yoo, Jin-A Jung, Shin-Yun Byun
Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Research 2014, 6 (2): 126-30

PURPOSE: Transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN) is a disorder caused by the delayed clearance of fetal alveolar fluid. β-adrenergic agonists such as albuterol (salbutamol) are known to catalyze lung fluid absorption. This study examined whether inhalational salbutamol therapy could improve clinical symptoms in TTN. Additional endpoints included the diagnostic and therapeutic efficacy of salbutamol as well as its overall safety.

METHODS: From January 2010 through December 2010, we conducted a prospective study of 40 newborns hospitalized with TTN in the neonatal intensive care unit. Patients were given either inhalational salbutamol (28 patients) or placebo (12 patients), and clinical indices were compared.

RESULTS: The duration of tachypnea was shorter in patients receiving inhalational salbutamol therapy, although this difference was not statistically significant. The duration of supplemental oxygen therapy and the duration of empiric antibiotic treatment were significantly shorter in the salbutamol-treated group. No adverse effects were observed in either treatment group.

CONCLUSIONS: Inhalational salbutamol therapy reduced the duration of supplemental oxygen therapy and the duration of empiric antibiotic treatment, with no adverse effects. However, the time between salbutamol therapy and clinical improvement was too long to allow definitive conclusions to be drawn. Further studies examining a larger number of patients with strict control over dosage and frequency of salbutamol inhalations are necessary to better direct the treatment of TTN.

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