What is the definition of Newborn Transient Tachypnea?

Transient tachypnea of the newborn (TTN) is a breathing disorder seen shortly after delivery in early term or late preterm babies.

  • Transient means it is short-lived (most often less than 48 hours).
  • Tachypnea means rapid breathing (faster than most newborns, who normally breathe 40 to 60 times per minute).

What are the alternative names for Newborn Transient Tachypnea?

TTN; Wet lungs - newborns; Retained fetal lung fluid; Transient RDS; Prolonged transition; Neonatal - transient tachypnea

What are the causes for Newborn Transient Tachypnea?

As the baby grows in the womb, the lungs make a special fluid. This fluid fills the baby's lungs and helps them grow. When the baby is born at term, hormones released during labor tell the lungs to stop making this special fluid. The baby's lungs start removing or reabsorbing it.

The first few breaths a baby takes after delivery fill the lungs with air and help to clear most of the remaining lung fluid.

Leftover fluid in the lungs causes the baby to breathe rapidly. It is harder for the small air sacs of the lungs to stay open.

TTN is more likely to occur in babies who were:

  • Born before 38 completed weeks gestation (early term)
  • Delivered by C-section, especially if labor has not already started
  • Born to a mother with diabetes or asthma
  • Twins
  • Male sex

What are the symptoms for Newborn Transient Tachypnea?

Newborns with TTN have breathing problems soon after birth, most often within 1 to 2 hours.

Symptoms include:

  • Bluish skin color (cyanosis)
  • Rapid breathing, which may occur with noises such as grunting
  • Flaring nostrils or movements between the ribs or breastbone known as retractions

What are the current treatments for Newborn Transient Tachypnea?

Your baby will be given oxygen to keep the blood oxygen level stable. Your baby will often need the most oxygen within a few hours after birth. The baby's oxygen needs will begin to decrease after that. Most infants with TTN improve in less than 24 to 48 hours, but some will need help for a few days.

Very rapid breathing usually means a baby is unable to eat. Fluids and nutrients will be given through a vein until your baby improves. Your baby may also receive antibiotics until the health care provider is sure there is no infection. Rarely, babies with TTN will need help with breathing or feeding a week or more.

What is the outlook (prognosis) for Newborn Transient Tachypnea?

The condition most often goes away within 48 to 72 hours after delivery. In most cases, babies who have had TTN have no further problems from the condition. They will not need special care or follow-up other than their routine checkups. However, there is some evidence that babies with TTN may be at a higher risk for wheezing problems later in infancy.

Late preterm or early term babies (born more than 2 to 6 weeks before their due date) who have been delivered by C-section without labor may be at risk for a more severe form known as "malignant TTN."


Ahlfeld SK. Respiratory tract disorders. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 122.

Crowley MA. Neonatal respiratory disorders. In: Martin RJ, Fanaroff AA, Walsh MC, eds. Fanaroff and Martin's Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine: Diseases of the Fetus and Infant. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2020:chap 66.

Greenberg JM, Haberman BE, Narendran V, Nathan AT, Schibler K. Neonatal morbidities of prenatal and perinatal origin. In: Creasy RK, Lockwood CJ, Moore TR, Greene MF, Copel JA, Silver RM, eds. Creasy and Resnik's Maternal-Fetal Medicine: Principles and Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2019:chap 73.

  • Condition: Transient Tachypnea of the Newborn
  • Journal: The Cochrane database of systematic reviews
  • Treatment Used: Salbutamol
  • Number of Patients: 498
  • Published —
The study researched the use of salbutamol for treating transient tachypnea of the newborn.
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Not yet recruiting
  • Intervention Type: Diagnostic Test, Other
  • Participants: 260
  • Start Date: October 1, 2020
Evaluation of the Prevalence of Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension in Term and Near-term Neonates - Observational Study
Clinical Trial
  • Status: Active, not recruiting
  • Phase: Phase 3
  • Intervention Type: Drug
  • Participants: 210
  • Start Date: September 1, 2020
Efficacy of Misoprostol in Prevention of Neonatal Respiratory Morbidity in Parturient at Early Term Elective Caesarian Section