Toxic effects of different meconium fractions on lung function: new therapeutic strategies for meconium aspiration syndrome?

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Abstract

To review and summarize experimental data examining the effects of different fractions of meconium, and to test the effect of albumin on meconium aspiration both as prophylactic and rescue treatment. Newborn piglets 2 to 5 days of age were made hypoxic and then instilled meconium or fractions of meconium intratracheally. Meconium-added albumin and albumin instilled after meconium were also tested. Lung function and inflammatory cytokines were measured. Both the lipid- and water-soluble fractions induce inflammation in the lungs with elevation of inflammatory cytokines. When meconium was mixed with albumin, the inflammatory effects of meconium were significantly ameliorated. Rescue therapy with intratracheal albumin 5 min after the meconium aspiration syndrome was induced also improved lung function. These results indicate that at least part of the symptoms seen in the meconium aspiration syndrome could be prevented by blocking the active substances of meconium such as bile acids and free fatty acids.

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