Effect of high doses of human recombinant erythropoietin on the need for blood transfusions in preterm infants

Virgilio Carnielli, Giovanni Montini, Rosalia Da Riol, Roberto Dall'Amico, Felice Cantarutti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

To determine whether prophylactic treatment with recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) and iron would reduce the need for blood transfusions, we randomly assigned 22 premature infants with gestational ages ≤32 weeks and birth weights ≤1.75 kg to receive rHuEPO, 400 IU/kg three times a week, plus iron, 20 mg/wk intravenously, from the second day of life (11 infants), or no rHuEPO and no iron (11 infants). The two groups had similar birth weights and clinical variables. The treated infants required fewer blood transfusions (0.8±1.5 vs 3.1±2.1; p=0.01) and less volume of packed erythrocytes (14.2±25.9 vs 48.4±34.0 ml/kg; p=0.02). The amounts of blood sampled were not different (19.5±21.1 vs 27.8±19.1 ml/kg; p=0.35). Reticulocyte and hematocrit values were higher in the treated group (4.46%±0.8% vs 1.49%±1.1% (p=0.0001) and 48.1%±7.3% vs 43.8%±4.7% (p=0.004), respectively). No side effects of either rHuEPO or intravenously administered iron were noted. These data indicate that rHuEPO, in combination with iron supplementation, is effective in reducing the need for blood transfusions in the premature infant. More information is needed on dosage, timing, and iron and vitamin supplementation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-102
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatrics
Volume121
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Effect of high doses of human recombinant erythropoietin on the need for blood transfusions in preterm infants'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this