Intensive Care Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 2, pp 336–343 | Cite as

Airway humidification with a heat and moisture exchanger in mechanically ventilated neonates

A preliminary evaluation
  • Mikaïla Fassassi
  • Fabrice Michel
  • Laurent Thomachot
  • Claire Nicaise
  • Renaud Vialet
  • Yves Jammes
  • Pierre Lagier
  • Claude Martin
Pediatric Original



We set out to evaluate the efficacy of passive inspiratory gas conditioning in mechanically ventilated neonates and compared it with that of a heated humidifier (HH).


Prospective, randomized, controlled study.


Neonatal and pediatric intensive care unit.


Fourteen mechanically ventilated neonates nursed in incubators.


The HH was set to deliver a temperature of 37 °C and an absolute humidity of 40 mgH2O/l at the incubator entrance. Inspired temperature (T°) and absolute humidity (AH) were measured by the psychometric method, transpulmonary pressure (Tpres) by means of a differential pressure transducer. Measurements were performed at 5, 10, and 15 min.

Measurements and results

The values of T° were significantly higher using the HH (34.6 ± 1.6 °C) than the heat and moisture exchanger (HME) (33.8 ± 2.3, p < 0.001). The values of AH were significantly higher using the HH (36.6 ± 2.5 mgH2O/l) than the HME (32.4 ± 2.8 mgH2O/l, p < 0.001). No significant changes were observed in transpulmonary pressure. A significant positive correlation was observed between incubator temperature and the temperature delivered by the HH (R2 = 0.61, p < 0.001).


The use of HMEs in neonates made it possible to achieve an absolute humidity of 28 mgH2O/l or more and a temperature of 30 °C or more. Higher values are obtained using a HH.


Airway humidification Heated humidifier Heat and moisture exchanger Neonates 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikaïla Fassassi
    • 1
  • Fabrice Michel
    • 1
  • Laurent Thomachot
    • 1
  • Claire Nicaise
    • 1
  • Renaud Vialet
    • 1
  • Yves Jammes
    • 2
  • Pierre Lagier
    • 1
  • Claude Martin
    • 3
  1. 1.Neonatal and Pediatric Intensive Care, Department of Anesthesia and Intensive CareHôpital NordMarseille Cedex 20France
  2. 2.Aix-Marseille 2, EA2201, Faculty of MedicineHôpital NordMarseille Cedex 20France
  3. 3.Department of Anesthesia and Intensive CareHôpital NordMarseille Cedex 20France

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