Effects of nasal continuous positive airway pressure on nutritive swallowing in lambs
Bernier, Anne; Hadj Ahmed, Mohamed Amine; Samson, Nathalie; Bonneau, Pauline; Catelin, Céline; Praud, Jean-Paul
Current knowledge suggests that, to be successful, oral feeding in preterm infants should be initiated as soon as possible, often at an age where immature respiration still requires ventilatory support in the form of nasal continuous positive airway pressure (nCPAP). While some neonatologist teams claim great success with initiation of oral feeding in immature infants with nCPAP, others strictly wait for this ventilatory support to be no longer necessary before any attempt at oral feeding, fearing laryngeal penetration and tracheal aspiration. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to provide a first assessment of the effect of various levels of nCPAP on bottle-feeding in a neonatal ovine model, including feeding safety, feeding efficiency, and nutritive swallowing-breathing coordination. Eight lambs born at term were surgically instrumented 48 h after birth to collect recordings of electrical activity of laryngeal constrictor muscle, electrocardiography, and arterial blood gases. Two days after surgery, lambs were bottle-fed under five randomized nCPAP conditions, including without any nCPAP or nasal mask and nCPAP of 0, 4, 7, and 10 cmH(2)O. Results revealed that application of nCPAP in the full-term lamb had no deleterious effect on feeding safety and efficiency or on nutritive swallowing-breathing coordination. The present study provides a first and unique insight on the effect of nCPAP on oral feeding, demonstrating its safety in newborn lambs born at term. These results open the way for further research in preterm lambs to better mimic the problems encountered in neonatology.