Endotracheal epinephrine at standard versus high dose for resuscitation of asystolic newborn lambs

Graeme R. Polglase, Yoveena Brian, Darcy Tantanis, Douglas A. Blank, Shiraz Badurdeen, Kelly J. Crossley, Martin Kluckow, Andrew W. Gill, Emily Camm, Robert Galinsky, Nils Thomas Songstad, Claus Klingenberg, Stuart B. Hooper, Calum T. Roberts

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: Endotracheal (ET) epinephrine administration is an option during neonatal resuscitation, if the preferred intravenous (IV) route is unavailable. Objectives: We assessed whether endotracheal epinephrine achieved return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC), and maintained physiological stability after ROSC, at standard and higher dose, in severely asphyxiated newborn lambs. Methods: Near-term fetal lambs were asphyxiated until asystole. Resuscitation was commenced with ventilation and chest compressions. Lambs were randomly allocated to: IV Saline placebo (5 ml/kg), IV Epinephrine (20 micrograms/kg), Standard-dose ET Epinephrine (100 micrograms/kg), and High-dose ET Epinephrine (1 mg/kg). After three allocated treatment doses, rescue IV Epinephrine was administered if ROSC had not occurred. Lambs achieving ROSC were monitored for 60 minutes. Brain histology was assessed for microbleeds. Results: ROSC in response to allocated treatment (without rescue IV Epinephrine) occurred in 1/6 Saline, 9/9 IV Epinephrine, 0/9 Standard-dose ET Epinephrine, and 7/9 High-dose ET Epinephrine lambs respectively. Blood pressure during CPR increased after treatment with IV Epinephrine and High-dose ET Epinephrine, but not Saline or Standard-dose ET Epinephrine. After ROSC, both ET Epinephrine groups had lower pH, higher lactate, and higher blood pressure than the IV Epinephrine group. Cortex microbleeds were more frequent in High-dose ET Epinephrine lambs (8/8 lambs examined, versus 3/8 in IV Epinephrine lambs). Conclusions: The currently recommended dose of ET Epinephrine was ineffective in achieving ROSC. Without convincing clinical or preclinical evidence of efficacy, use of ET Epinephrine at this dose may not be appropriate. High-dose ET Epinephrine requires further evaluation before clinical translation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110191
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - May 2024


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