During a 4-year period, 34 neonates were treated with high-frequency jet ventilation (HFJV) using two different HFJV systems. Twenty-three of the neonates had severe pulmonary air leaks, five had congenital left-sided diaphragamatic hernias, and six had end-stage respiratory failure without pulmonary air leaks. The two HFJV systems performed similarly in all pathologic conditons. Following HFJV, arterial blood gas values improved in 28 of the 34 patients (82%). Eleven patients (32%) ultimately survived. Of 23 patients with pulmonary air leaks, 17 (74%) improved, nine (39%) survived. One infant with diaphragmatic hernia and one with end-stage respiratory failure survived. Ten of 12 patients (85%) who died following eight or more hours of HFJV had significant tracheal histopathology in the region of the endotracheal tube tip. The lesions ranged from moderate erythema to severe necrotizing tracheobronchitis with total tracheal obstruction. HFJV can be useful in the treatment of severe pulmonary air leaks in neonates and may prove useful in the treatment of congenital diaphragmatic hernias. However, HFJV produces inflammatory injuries in the proximal trachea. More clinical and laboratory studies are needed to define the relative risks and benefits of this new therapy.
- Received June 18, 1984.
- Copyright © 1985 by the American Academy of Pediatrics