A prospective controlled trial of albuterol aerosol delivered via metered dose inhaler-spacer device (MDI) versus jet nebulizer in ventilated preterm neonates.Am J Perinatol. 2001 May; 18(3):169-74.AJ
The objective of this study was to identify the most efficient and cost-effective nebulizer device for delivery of albuterol aerosol as a bronchodilator in ventilated preterm infants. Bronchodilators are frequently used as part of the therapeutic regimen of ventilated preterm infants. This can be delivered by different types of nebulizers like the Jet or metered dose inhaler (MDI) spacer device. Fifty-three premature infants being ventilated for RDS (24 to 34 weeks of gestation) were studied just prior to extubation. Twenty-four of them received standard doses of albuterol aerosol via Jet nebulizer and 29 via MDI-spacer. Heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, lung compliance, and airway resistance were monitored prior and 15 minutes after albuterol delivery. There were significant changes in the parameters studied between pre- and postnebulizer treatment. In both groups, there was a significant improvement in lung function as evidenced by 13-24% decreased airway resistance (RAWE) and 3-7% increased lung compliance (CDYN). There was also a beneficial clinical response as demonstrated by increased oxygen saturations. These findings suggest that both MDI-spacer and Jet nebulizer are equally effective in delivering the albuterol aerosol to the lower respiratory tract. Since a small dose of albuterol delivered via the MDI-spacer improved lung function as effectively as a higher dose via the Jet nebulizer, the MDI-spacer would be the preferred mode of aerosol administration, especially because it takes only 2 minutes to deliver it. Furthermore, it was also cost-effective as one MDI-spacer treatment costs 2 cents, while a Jet treatment costs 10 cents in our neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).