Pharmacokinetics and clinical predictors of surfactant redosing in respiratory distress syndrome

Paola E. Cogo, Maddalena Facco, Manuela Simonato, Daniele De Luca, Francesca De Terlizi, Umberto Rizzotti, Giovanna Verlato, Maria Paola Bellagamba, Virgilio P. Carnielli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rationale: Limited data are available on predictors for surfactant retreatment in preterm infants with respiratory distress syndrome (RDS). Objective: To study the pharmacokinetics of exogenous surfactant and the clinical parameters associated with surfactant redosing. Methods: Exogenous surfactant pharmacokinetics was studied in 125 preterm infants (birth weight 997 ± 432 g; gestational age 28.0 ± 2.6 weeks) with moderate to severe RDS requiring mechanical ventilation. Clinical and respiratory parameters were recorded hourly, and surfactant disaturated-phosphatidylcholine (DSPC) half-life, pool size, and endogenous synthesis were calculated by stable isotope tracing of surfactant DSPC isolated from serial tracheal aspirates. Univariate and multiple logistic regression were used to study the effects of clinical and surfactant kinetic variables on the need for redosing. Results: Fifty-three infants (42.4%) received one dose, 51 (40.8%) two doses, and 21 (16.8%) three doses. Median (interquartile range, IQR) DSPC half-life was 21 (13-39), 11 (7-17), and 10 (7-16) h after the first, second, and third dose, respectively (p = 0.07). Univariate analysis showed a significantly shorter DSPC half-life in infants requiring more surfactant doses. On logistic analysis, risk of redosing was higher with lower birth weight, worse radiological score, shorter DSPC half-life, and surfactant dose of 100 mg/kg, whilst it was lower with elective high-frequency ventilation at time of intubation, instead of conventional ventilation. Conclusions: When optimizing surfactant replacement therapy and its cost-benefit ratio, pharmacokinetics and clinical variables associated with need of redosing should be taken into account.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-517
Number of pages8
JournalIntensive Care Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Isotopes
  • Low-birth-weight infants
  • Pulmonary surfactant
  • Respiratory distress syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine


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