Pediatr Neonatol. 2020 Dec 13:S1875-9572(20)30202-3. doi: 10.1016/j.pedneo.2020.11.008. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: The safety and clinical application of nonbronchoscopic bronchoalveolar lavage (NB-BAL) in preterm neonates with ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) have not been fully investigated, and limited data on the feasibility of this method are available.
METHODS: Premature infants with clinically suspected VAP between October 2017 and June 2019 were enrolled, and NB-BAL was performed. The tolerance and safety of NB-BAL were prospectively recorded during the procedure, and the clinical applications of NB-BAL were observed.
RESULTS: A total of 46 NB-BAL procedures were performed in 31 neonates with clinically suspected VAP. The median (interquartile range) gestational age and birth body weight were 28.7 (26.7-31.3) weeks and 1055.0 (817.0-1475.0) grams, respectively. Overall, all episodes of the procedure were well tolerated, with only 9 (19.5%) episodes showing transient desaturation and one patient (2.2%) showing bradycardia during the NB-BAL procedure. There were no impairments in arterial blood gas, cardiopulmonary parameters or respiratory severity scores after NB-BAL. No significant complications occurred in any of the patients who received NB-BAL. No chronic comorbidities affected the safety and clinical application of NB-BAL in these mechanically ventilated preterm neonates. NB-BAL yielded a diagnosis in 32 (69.6%) of these VAP episodes. Staphylococcus aureus was the most common isolated bacterium and accounted for 7 (15.2%) confirmed cases of VAP in our study, followed by polymicrobial microorganisms (n = 6, 13.0%). The appropriate antibiotics were prescribed and modified according to the NB-BAL results in 25 (54.3%) cases of VAP.
CONCLUSIONS: NB-BAL is a safe and clinically applicable method for determining the etiology and diagnosis of VAP in the NICU, even in extremely preterm neonates with major chronic comorbidities. Further studies to investigate the diagnostic accuracy and impact of NB-BAL on VAP treatment in neonates are warranted in the future.