PURPOSE: The purpose was to investigate the clinical considerations of patients affected by meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS) and the effect of suctioning through endotracheal intubation immediately after delivery on the prognosis of MAS. METHODS: A total of 44 inpatients diagnosed as MAS in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Cheil Hospital were selected from January 2004 to June 2006. They were divided into two groups. In the early aspiration group (12 patients), suctioning through endotracheal intubation was performed according to the neonatal resuscitation program of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Heart Association because infants born through meconium-stained amniotic fluid (MSAF) were not vigorous after birth. In the early non-aspiration group (32 patients), endotracheal intubation was not performed because the infants born through MSAF were vigorous after birth. These two groups were analyzed retrospectively by medical records in the fields of clinical features, obstetric risk factors, complications, treatment, and duration of hospitalization. RESULTS: There was no significant difference in mean gestational age, mean birth weight, sex, and delivery mode between the early aspiration group and the early non-aspiration group. Mean Apgar score of the early aspiration group both in 1 and 5 minute score was significantly lower than in the early non-aspiration group. Lengths of hospitalization and duration of mechanical ventilator care were longer in the early non-aspiration group, but there was no significant difference. Total duration of oxygen therapy was significantly longer in the early non-aspiration group than in the early aspiration group. CONCLUSION: In this study, the early non-aspiration group used surfactant more and had a longer duration of mechanical ventilator and hospitalization, but there was no significant difference. Total duration of oxygen therapy was significantly longer in the early non-aspiration group. Therefore, more detailed guidelines for vigorous infants born through MSAF are needed and we should study and follow up the long term prognosis of neurological complications of MAS.