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Comparison of heated humidified high flow nasal cannula and nasal continuous positive airway pressure after surfactant administration in preterm neonates with respiratory distress syndrome.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of humidified high-flow nasal cannula (HHHFNC) therapy, and compare it with the effect of nasal Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (NCPAP) in neonates with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS).

METHOD: In this clinical study, consecutively admitted 27-32 weeks preterm infants with RDS who received surfactant through a brief intubation (INSURE method) were randomly assigned immediately after extubation to HHHFNC or NCPAP. Primary outcomes were oxygen saturation values and oxygen need at 6, 12 and 24 h after surfactant administration as well as duration of oxygen and respiratory support, need for intubation and mechanical ventilation and incidence of apnea. Secondary outcomes were duration of hospitalization and incidence of complications such as pneumothorax.

RESULTS: Sixty-four infants met the inclusion criteria and were enrolled in the study, 32 per arm. Two cases in HHFNC group dropped due to congenital pneumonia/sepsis. No differences were seen between groups in primary and secondary outcomes except for arterial oxygen saturation values (SaO2) 24 h after surfactant administration that were significantly higher in the NCPAP group [95.97% ± 1.96% vs. 95.00% ± 1.80% (P = .04)] with similar oxygen needs. The treatment failure was observed in four (11.8%) infants of the NCPAP group compared to five (16.7%) cases of the HHHFNC group (P = .57).

CONCLUSION: Based on the results of the present study, the HHHFNC can be as effective as NCPAP to treat the neonates with RDS after surfactant administration.

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