Continuous airway pressure breathing with the head-box in the newborn lamb: effects on regional blood flows

G. Gabriele, Charles R Rosenfeld, David E Fixler, J. M. Wheeler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Continuous airway pressure delivered by a head-box is an accepted means of treating clinical hyaline membrane disease. To investigate hemodynamic alterations resulting from its use, eight newborn lambs, 1 to 6 days of age, were studied at 6 and 11 mm Hg of positive pressure, while spontaneously breathing room air. Organ blood flows and cardiac output were measured with 25 μ-diameter radioactive microspheres. Heart rate, left ventricular pressure, and arterial blood gases did not change during the study. Jugular venous pressures increased from 6.4 mm Hg to 18.6 and 24.2 mm Hg at 6 and 11 mm Hg, respectively (P <.005). Cardiac output decreased approximately 20% at either intrachamber pressure setting. Renal blood flow fell 21% at 11 mm Hg. No significant changes in blood flow were found in the brain, gastrointestinal tract, spleen, heart, or liver when compared to control flows. Of particular interest was the finding of a 28% reduction in ocular blood flow at 6 mm Hg and 52% at 11 mm Hg. From these results, we conclude that substantial cardiovascular alterations may occur during the application of head-box continuous airway pressure breathing, including a significant reduction in ocular blood flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)858-864
Number of pages7
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1977

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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