Neuropediatrics 1992; 23(3): 126-130
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1071327
Original article

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Acute Changes in Cerebral Oxygenation and Cerebral Blood Volume in Preterm Infants During Surfactant Treatment

L.  Skov1 , L.  Hellström-Westas2 , T.  Jacobsen1 , G.  Greisen1 , N. W. Svenningsen2
  • 1Department of Neonatology, State University Hospital, Rigshospitalet, Copenhagen, Denmark
  • 2Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Department of Paediatrics, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
19 March 2008 (online)


Following administration of surfactant a marked depression in aEEG activity occurs for about 10 minutes; the mechanism of this depression is unknown. In view of this, twenty-nine preterm infants were investigated with near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to evaluate rapid changes in total cerebral haemoglobin concentration and cerebral oxyhaemoglobin concentration during rescue treatment with natural surfactant. During surfactant instillation there was a short-lasting hypoxaemia as demonstrated by pulseoximetry as well as a considerable fall in arterial blood pressure. With NIRS, tissue hypoxia was demonstrated by a drop in cerebral oxyhaemoglobin concentration. The marked drop in arterial blood pressure occurring immediately following surfactant was not matched by a drop in total cerebral haemoglobin concentration. This suggests that cerebral blood volume and hence cerebral blood flow was maintained. In the following minutes there was an improvement in cerebral oxygenation as indicated by the rise in cerebral oxyhaemoglobin concentration in nearly all the infants.

The present study clearly suggests a hyperaemic hyperoxic state in the brain after surfactant rescue treatment and does not explain the transient EEG depression after surfactant treatment as a result of cerebral ischaemia/hypoxia.