Optimal Oxygen Targets in Term Lambs with Meconium Aspiration Syndrome and Pulmonary Hypertension

Munmun Rawat, Praveen Chandrasekharan, Sylvia F. Gugino, Carmon Koenigsknecht, Lori Nielsen, Stephen Wedgwood, Bobby Mathew, Jayasree Nair, Robin H Steinhorn, Satyan Lakshminrusimha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Optimal oxygen saturation as measured by pulse oximetry (SpO2) in neonatal lung injury, such as meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) and persistent pulmonary hypertension of newborn (PPHN), is not known. Our goal was to determine the SpO2 range in lambs with MAS and PPHN that results in the highest brain oxygen delivery (bDO2) and pulmonary blood flow (Qp) and the lowest pulmonary vascular resistance and oxidative stress. Meconium was instilled into endotracheal tubes in 25 near-term gestation lambs, and the umbilical cord was occluded to induce asphyxia and gasping, causing MAS and PPHN. Lambs were randomized into four groups and ventilated for 6 hours with fixed fraction of inspired oxygen (FiO2) = 1.0 irrespective of SpO2, and three groups had FiO2 titrated to keep preductal SpO2 between 85% and 89%, 90% and 94%, and 95% and 99%, respectively. Tissues were collected to measure nitric oxide synthase activity, 3-nitrotyrosine, and 8-isoprostanes. Throughout the 6-hour exposure period, lambs in the 95-99% SpO2 target group had the highest Qp, lowest pulmonary vascular resistance, and highest bDO2 but were exposed to higher FiO2 (0.5 ± 0.21 vs. 0.29 ± 0.17) with higher lung 3-nitrotyrosine (0.67 [interquartile range (IQR), 0.43-0.73] ng/mcg protein vs. 0.1 [IQR, 0.09-0.2] ng/mcg protein) and lower lung nitric oxide synthase activity (196 [IQR, 192-201] mMol nitrite/mg protein vs. 270 [IQR, 227-280] mMol nitrite/mg protein) compared with the 90-94% target group. Brain 3-nitrotyrosine was lower in the 85-89% target group, and brain/lung 8-isoprostane levels were not significantly different. In term lambs with MAS and PPHN, Qp and bDO2 through the first 6 hours are higher with target SpO2 in the 95-99% range. However, the 90-94% target range is associated with significantly lower FiO2 and lung oxidative stress. Clinical trials comparing the 90-94% versus the 95-99% SpO2 target range in term infants with PPHN are warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)510-518
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican journal of respiratory cell and molecular biology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • lung injury
  • oxygen saturation
  • PPHN

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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