Inhaled Surfactant Therapy Looks Promising in Treating Patients with COVID-19 Related ARDS, Study Shows

A study has unveiled that inhaled surfactant therapy shows promise in the treatment of patients with acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) correlated with COVID-19.

Photo: COVID-19 Patient with ARDS | InStyleHealth


The pulmonary surfactant works to reduce surface tension in alveoli in order to prevent lung collapse and gas exchange. Furthermore, the surfactant affects innate and adaptive local immunity by being involved in the barrier and protective function of the lungs. Demonstrating anti-inflammatory properties, the surfactant lowers the expression of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, and, thus, may efficiently contribute to the repair of damaged alveoli in SARS-CoV-2-correlated ARDS.

Research has involved 33 patients who were given inhaled surfactant at 150-300 mg daily for at least 5 days and control patients who did not receive the treatment. All patients received standard therapy, including hydroxychloroquine (400 mg daily), azithromycin (500 mg daily), dexamethasone (6-12 mg daily), prophylactic enoxaparin (40 mg daily), and tocilizumab (8 mg/kg).

On the 5th day of therapy, arterial oxygen tension to inspired oxygen fraction ratio (PaO2/FiO2) revealed a meaningful improvement in the surfactant group than in the control group. Patients who received the inhaled surfactant were less likely to be transferred to intensive care unit or ICU and be put on invasive mechanical ventilation.

Furthermore, treatment with the exogenous surfactant led to a shorter length of non-invasive ventilation (7 vs 11 days) and duration of hospital stay (18 vs 26 days).

Current data warrant larger trials of inhaled surfactant therapy for COVID-19-correlated ARDS, according to experts.

 

Source: Respir Med 2021;doi:10.1016/j.rmed.2021.106489

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