Cerebroelectrical depression following surfactant treatment in preterm neonates

Lena Hellström-Westas, A H Bell, L Skov, G Greisen, N W Svenningsen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During surfactant treatment of respiratory distress syndrome, 23 premature newborns were investigated with continuous amplitude-integrated electroencephalography (cerebral function monitors). Simultaneously, arterial blood pressure and transcutaneous blood gas values were recorded. A short (less than 10 minutes) but significant decrease in cerebral activity was seen in almost all neonates immediately after the surfactant instillation, in spite of an improved pulmonary function. In 21 of 23 neonates, a transient fall in mean arterial blood pressure of 9.3 mm Hg (mean) occurred coincidently with the cerebral reaction. Neonates in whom intraventricular hemorrhage developed tended to have lower presurfactant mean arterial blood pressure (P greater than .05), but they had a significantly lower mean arterial blood pressure after surfactant instillation (P less than .05). No other differences were found between neonates in whom intraventricular hemorrhage developed and those without intraventricular hemorrhage. The present findings demonstrate that an acute cerebral dysfunction may occur after surfactant instillation. In some vulnerable neonates with arterial hypotension and severe pulmonary immaturity, the fall in mean arterial blood pressure may increase the risk of cerebral complications and could be related to an unchanged rate of intraventricular hemorrhage after surfactant treatment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-647
Issue number4 Pt 1
Publication statusPublished - 1992

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Pediatrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Cerebroelectrical depression following surfactant treatment in preterm neonates'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this