Background: Current sustained lung inflation (SI) approaches use uniform pressures and durations. We hypothesized that gestational-age-related mechanical and developmental differences would affect the time required to achieve optimal lung aeration, and resultant lung volumes, during SI delivery at birth in lambs. Methods: 49 lambs, in five cohorts between 118 and 139 days of gestation (term 142 d), received a standardized 40 cmH 2 O SI, which was delivered until 10 s after lung volume stability (optimal aeration) was visualized on real-time electrical impedance tomography (EIT), or to a maximum duration of 180 s. Time to stable lung aeration (T stable) within the whole lung, gravity-dependent, and non-gravity-dependent regions, was determined from EIT recordings. Results: T stable was inversely related to gestation (P<0.0001, Kruskal-Wallis test), with the median (range) being 229 (85,306) s and 72 (50,162) s in the 118-d and 139-d cohorts, respectively. Lung volume at T stable increased with gestation from a mean (SD) of 20 (17) ml/kg at 118 d to 56 (13) ml/kg at 139 d (P=0.002, one-way ANOVA). There were no gravity-dependent regional differences in T stable or aeration. Conclusion: sThe trajectory of aeration during an SI at birth is influenced by gestational age in lambs. An understanding of this may assist in developing SI protocols that optimize lung aeration for all infants.

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Journal Pediatric Research
McCall, K.E. (Karen E.), Waldmann, A.D. (Andreas D), Pereira-Fantini, P. (Prue), Oakley, R. (Regina), Miedema, M. (Martijn), Perkins, E.J. (Elizabeth J), … Tingay, D.G. (David G). (2017). Time to lung aeration during a sustained inflation at birth is influenced by gestation in lambs. Pediatric Research, 82(4), 712–720. doi:10.1038/pr.2017.141