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Single-step gastric aspirate shake test: bedside predictor of neonatal pulmonary morbidity.
  1. A K Tanswell,
  2. E Sherwin,
  3. B T Smith


    A simplified, single-step shake test has been performed on gastric aspirate samples from 85 preterm infants and a control group of 214 term infants. Respiratory symptoms were seen in 25 of 30 preterm infants with a negative or intermediate test, but in only 2 of 55 infants with a positive test (P less than 0-001). No infant with a positive test developed respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) while RDS developed in 66% of those preterm infants with a negative test. False-negative results were not seen in the preterm group. The gastric aspirate shake test had better sensitivity and selectivity in prediction of clinical outcome than did the amniotic fluid lecithin/sphingomyelin ratio in 37 preterm infants in whom both results were available. Serial shake tests were performed on samples from a number of infants with RDS and the results were seen to change in parallel with clinical recovery. This and other observations suggest that the result of the gastric aspirate shake test depends more upon direct swallowing of fetal lung liquid than on swallowing of amniotic fluid.

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