Effect of Early Erythropoietin on Retinopathy of Prematurity: A Stratified Meta-Analysis

Department of Neonatology, Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany.

Neonatology. 2023;:1-11

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PICO Summary

Population

Infants of <29 weeks of gestational age (GA), (14 randomised controlled trials, n= 2,040).

Intervention

Early recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO).

Comparison

No treatment or placebo.

Outcome

Data syntheses showed no effects of rhEPO on retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) stage ≥3 or on any ROP, neither in infants of <29 weeks GA, nor in infants of <1,000 g birth weight, nor in any GA strata. The risk ratio for ROP stage ≥3 in infants of <29 weeks of GA was 1.13; 95% confidence interval [0.84, 1.53], (quality of evidence: moderate).
Abstract
BACKGROUND Recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO) lost its role in minimizing red blood cell transfusion in very preterm infants after it had been associated with severe retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Previous systematic reviews did not stratify ROP by gestation and birth weight (BW). OBJECTIVES The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of early prophylactic rhEPO on ROP in a stratified meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs). METHODS The databases EMBASE, MEDLINE, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials were searched in January 2022 and complemented by citation searching. RCTs comparing early rhEPO treatment with no treatment or placebo were selected if they were published in a peer-reviewed journal and reported ROP outcomes. Previously unpublished data were requested from the study authors to allow stratified analyses by gestational age (GA) and BW. Data were extracted and analyzed using the standard methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. Pre-specified outcomes were "ROP stage ≥3" (primary outcome) and "any ROP." RESULTS Fourteen RCTs, comprising 2,040 infants of <29 weeks of GA, were included for meta-analysis. Data syntheses showed no effects of rhEPO on ROP stage ≥3 or on any ROP, neither in infants of <29 weeks GA, nor in infants of <1,000 g BW, nor in any GA strata. The risk ratio (95% confidence interval) for ROP stage ≥3 in infants of <29 weeks of GA was 1.13 (0.84, 1.53), p = 0.41 (quality of evidence: moderate). CONCLUSIONS The present meta-analysis detected no effects of early rhEPO on ROP in any comparison, but most stratified analyses were limited by low statistical power.
Study details
Study Design : Systematic Review
Language : eng
Credits : Bibliographic data from MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine