Purpose of review: Several phase II and phase III studies have been performed to investigate safety, efficacy and the improvement of survival due to exogenous surfactant instillation in patients with acute lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome. In this review we will discuss the most recent of these studies, paying particular attention to differences in the composition of the exogenous surfactant used, the diverse modes of delivery and dose of therapy and the influence of mechanical ventilation. Recent findings: Several phase II studies performed on patients with acute lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome and a phase III study performed on a pediatric population have shown beneficial effects of surfactant on oxygenation and survival. No effect of exogenous surfactant has been shown on survival in phase III studies in adult patients. Summary: The changes in the surfactant system of patients with acute lung injury and acute respiratory distress syndrome form the rationale for the instillation of exogenous surfactant. There is enough evidence to use surfactant instillation for pediatric patients with acute lung injury. Due to the results of the randomized controlled trials performed so far, however, exogenous surfactant is not recommended for routine use in patients with acute lung injury or acute respiratory distress syndrome. In the future, other surfactants with different compositions may show beneficial effects.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Current Opinion in Critical Care|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 2006|