Postnatal phenobarbital for the prevention of intraventricular haemorrhage in preterm infants
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2023;3(3):Cd001691
BACKGROUND Intraventricular haemorrhage (IVH) is a major complication of preterm birth. Large haemorrhages are associated with a high risk of disability and hydrocephalus. Instability of blood pressure and cerebral blood in the newborn flow are postulated as causative factors. Another mechanism may involve reperfusion damage from oxygen free radicals. It has been suggested that phenobarbital stabilises blood pressure and may protect against free radicals. This is an update of a review first published in 2001 and updated in 2007 and 2013. OBJECTIVES To assess the benefits and harms of the postnatal administration of phenobarbital in preterm infants at risk of developing IVH compared to control (i.e. no intervention or placebo). SEARCH METHODS We searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), Medline, Embase, CINAHL and clinical trial registries in January 2022. A new, more sensitive search strategy was developed, and searches were conducted without date limits. SELECTION CRITERIA We included randomised controlled trials (RCTs) or quasi-RCTs in which phenobarbital was given within the first 24 hours of life to preterm infants identified as being at risk of IVH because of gestational age below 34 weeks, birth weight below 1500 g or respiratory failure. Phenobarbital was compared to no intervention or placebo. We excluded infants with serious congenital malformations. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS We used standard Cochrane methods. Our primary outcomes were all grades of IVH and severe IVH (i.e. grade III and IV); secondary outcomes were ventricular dilation or hydrocephalus, hypotension, pneumothorax, hypercapnia, acidosis, mechanical ventilation, neurodevelopmental impairment and death. We used GRADE to assess the certainty of the evidence for each outcome. MAIN RESULTS We included 10 RCTs (792 infants). The evidence suggests that phenobarbital results in little to no difference in the incidence of IVH of any grade compared with control (risk ratio (RR) 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.84 to 1.19; risk difference (RD) 0.00, 95% CI -0.06 to 0.07; I² for RD = 65%; 10 RCTs, 792 participants; low certainty evidence) and in severe IVH (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.21; 10 RCTs, 792 participants; low certainty evidence). The evidence is very uncertain about the effect of phenobarbital on posthaemorrhagic ventricular dilation or hydrocephalus (RR 0.62, 95% CI 0.31 to 1.26; 4 RCTs, 271 participants; very low certainty evidence), mild neurodevelopmental impairment (RR 0.57, 95% CI 0.15 to 2.17; 1RCT, 101 participants; very low certainty evidence), and severe neurodevelopmental impairment (RR 1.12, 95% CI 0.44 to 2.82; 2 RCTs, 153 participants; very low certainty evidence). Phenobarbital may result in little to no difference in death before discharge (RR 0.88, 95% CI 0.64 to 1.21; 9 RCTs, 740 participants; low certainty evidence) and mortality during study period (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.72 to 1.33; 10 RCTs, 792 participants; low certainty evidence) compared with control. We identified no ongoing trials. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS The evidence suggests that phenobarbital results in little to no difference in the incidence of IVH (any grade or severe) compared with control (i.e. no intervention or placebo). The evidence is very uncertain about the effects of phenobarbital on ventricular dilation or hydrocephalus and on neurodevelopmental impairment. The evidence suggests that phenobarbital results in little to no difference in death before discharge and all deaths during the study period compared with control. Since 1993, no randomised studies have been published on phenobarbital for the prevention of IVH in preterm infants, and no trials are ongoing. The effects of postnatal phenobarbital might be assessed in infants with both neonatal seizures and IVH, in both randomised and observational studies. The assessment of benefits and harms should include long-term outcomes.
Association between red blood cell transfusion and bronchopulmonary dysplasia: a systematic review and meta-analysis
Frontiers in pediatrics. 2023;11:1095889
BACKGROUND We aimed to determine the association between red blood cell transfusions (RBCT) and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) in neonates. METHODS A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted using data obtained from literature search of PubMed, Embase, and Web of Science from their inception till May 1, 2022. Two reviewers independently selected potentially relevant studies, and after data extraction, they assessed the methodological quality of the included studies using the Newcastle-Ottawa scale. Data were pooled using random-effects models in Review Manager 5.3. Subgroup-analysis was performed based on the number of transfusions and adjusted results. RESULTS Of the 1,011 identified records, 21 total case-control, cross-sectional, and cohort studies were selected, which included a total of 6,567 healthy controls and 1,476 patients with BPD. The pooled unadjusted odds ratio ([OR], 4.01; 95% confidence interval [CI] 2.31-6.97) and adjusted OR (5.11; 95% CI 3.11-8.4) showed significant association between RBCT and BPD. A substantial heterogeneity was noted, which could be due to different variables controlled for in each study. The subgroup analysis showed that heterogeneity may be partially explained by the extent of transfusion. CONCLUSION The association between BPD and RBCT remains unclear based on the current data due to the substantial heterogeneity among the results. Well-designed studies are still needed in the future.
Pharmacological pain and sedation interventions for the prevention of intraventricular hemorrhage in preterm infants on assisted ventilation - an overview of systematic reviews
The Cochrane database of systematic reviews. 2023;8:Cd012706
BACKGROUND Germinal matrix hemorrhage and intraventricular hemorrhage (GMH-IVH) may contribute to neonatal morbidity and mortality and result in long-term neurodevelopmental sequelae. Appropriate pain and sedation management in ventilated preterm infants may decrease the risk of GMH-IVH; however, it might be associated with harms. OBJECTIVES To summarize the evidence from systematic reviews regarding the effects and safety of pharmacological interventions related to pain and sedation management in order to prevent GMH-IVH in ventilated preterm infants. METHODS We searched the Cochrane Library August 2022 for reviews on pharmacological interventions for pain and sedation management to prevent GMH-IVH in ventilated preterm infants (< 37 weeks' gestation). We included Cochrane Reviews assessing the following interventions administered within the first week of life: benzodiazepines, paracetamol, opioids, ibuprofen, anesthetics, barbiturates, and antiadrenergics. Primary outcomes were any GMH-IVH (aGMH-IVH), severe IVH (sIVH), all-cause neonatal death (ACND), and major neurodevelopmental disability (MND). We assessed the methodological quality of included reviews using the AMSTAR-2 tool. We used GRADE to assess the certainty of evidence. MAIN RESULTS We included seven Cochrane Reviews and one Cochrane Review protocol. The reviews on clonidine and paracetamol did not include randomized controlled trials (RCTs) matching our inclusion criteria. We included 40 RCTs (3791 infants) from reviews on paracetamol for patent ductus arteriosus (3), midazolam (3), phenobarbital (9), opioids (20), and ibuprofen (5). The quality of the included reviews was high. The certainty of the evidence was moderate to very low, because of serious imprecision and study limitations. Germinal matrix hemorrhage-intraventricular hemorrhage (any grade) Compared to placebo or no intervention, the evidence is very uncertain about the effects of paracetamol on aGMH-IVH (risk ratio (RR) 0.89, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.38 to 2.07; 2 RCTs, 82 infants; very low-certainty evidence); midazolam may result in little to no difference in the incidence of aGMH-IVH (RR 1.68, 95% CI 0.87 to 3.24; 3 RCTs, 122 infants; low-certainty evidence); the evidence is very uncertain about the effect of phenobarbital on aGMH-IVH (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.83 to 1.19; 9 RCTs, 732 infants; very low-certainty evidence); opioids may result in little to no difference in aGMH-IVH (RR 0.85, 95% CI 0.65 to 1.12; 7 RCTs, 469 infants; low-certainty evidence); ibuprofen likely results in little to no difference in aGMH-IVH (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.81 to 1.21; 4 RCTs, 759 infants; moderate-certainty evidence). Compared to ibuprofen, the evidence is very uncertain about the effects of paracetamol on aGMH-IVH (RR 1.17, 95% CI 0.31 to 4.34; 1 RCT, 30 infants; very low-certainty evidence). Compared to midazolam, morphine may result in a reduction in aGMH-IVH (RR 0.28, 95% CI 0.09 to 0.87; 1 RCT, 46 infants; low-certainty evidence). Compared to diamorphine, the evidence is very uncertain about the effect of morphine on aGMH-IVH (RR 0.65, 95% CI 0.40 to 1.07; 1 RCT, 88 infants; very low-certainty evidence). Severe intraventricular hemorrhage (grade 3 to 4) Compared to placebo or no intervention, the evidence is very uncertain about the effect of paracetamol on sIVH (RR 1.80, 95% CI 0.43 to 7.49; 2 RCTs, 82 infants; very low-certainty evidence) and of phenobarbital (grade 3 to 4) (RR 0.91, 95% CI 0.66 to 1.25; 9 RCTs, 732 infants; very low-certainty evidence); opioids may result in little to no difference in sIVH (grade 3 to 4) (RR 0.98, 95% CI 0.71 to 1.34; 6 RCTs, 1299 infants; low-certainty evidence); ibuprofen may result in little to no difference in sIVH (grade 3 to 4) (RR 0.82, 95% CI 0.54 to 1.26; 4 RCTs, 747 infants; low-certainty evidence). No studies on midazolam reported this outcome. Compared to ibuprofen, the evidence is very uncertain about the effects of paracetamol on sIVH (RR 2.65, 95% CI 0.12 to 60.21; 1 RCT, 30 infants; very low-certainty evidence). Compared to midazolam, the evidence is very uncertain about the effect of morphine on sIVH (grade 3 to 4) (RR 0.08, 95% CI 0.00 to 1.43; 1 RCT, 46 infants; very low-certainty evidence). Compared to fentanyl, the evidence is very uncertain about the effect of morphine on sIVH (grade 3 to 4) (RR 0.59, 95% CI 0.18 to 1.95; 1 RCT, 163 infants; very low-certainty evidence). All-cause neonatal death Compared to placebo or no intervention, the evidence is very uncertain about the effect of phenobarbital on ACND (RR 0.94, 95% CI 0.51 to 1.72; 3 RCTs, 203 infants; very low-certainty evidence); opioids likely result in little to no difference in ACND (RR 1.12, 95% CI 0.80 to 1.55; 5 RCTs, 1189 infants; moderate-certainty evidence); the evidence is very uncertain about the effect of ibuprofen on ACND (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.38 to 2.64; 2 RCTs, 112 infants; very low-certainty evidence). Compared to midazolam, the evidence is very uncertain about the effect of morphine on ACND (RR 0.31, 95% CI 0.01 to 7.16; 1 RCT, 46 infants; very low-certainty evidence). Compared to diamorphine, the evidence is very uncertain about the effect of morphine on ACND (RR 1.17, 95% CI 0.43 to 3.19; 1 RCT, 88 infants; very low-certainty evidence). Major neurodevelopmental disability Compared to placebo, the evidence is very uncertain about the effect of opioids on MND at 18 to 24 months (RR 2.00, 95% CI 0.39 to 10.29; 1 RCT, 78 infants; very low-certainty evidence) and at five to six years (RR 1.6, 95% CI 0.56 to 4.56; 1 RCT, 95 infants; very low-certainty evidence). No studies on other drugs reported this outcome. AUTHORS' CONCLUSIONS None of the reported studies had an impact on aGMH-IVH, sIVH, ACND, or MND. The certainty of the evidence ranged from moderate to very low. Large RCTs of rigorous methodology are needed to achieve an optimal information size to assess the effects of pharmacological interventions for pain and sedation management for the prevention of GMH-IVH and mortality in preterm infants. Studies might compare interventions against either placebo or other drugs. Reporting of the outcome data should include the assessment of GMH-IVH and long-term neurodevelopment.
Effect of Early Erythropoietin on Retinopathy of Prematurity: A Stratified Meta-Analysis
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.
Infants of <29 weeks of gestational age (GA), (14 randomised controlled trials, n= 2,040).
Early recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEPO).
No treatment or placebo.
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).
Assessment of Hemostatic Profile in Neonates with Intrauterine Growth Restriction: A Systematic Review of Literature
Seminars in thrombosis and hemostasis. 2023
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) affects nearly 10 to 15% of pregnancies and is responsible for many short- and long-term adverse consequences, including hemostatic derangement. Both thrombotic and hemorrhagic events are described in the perinatal period in these neonates. The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature on the laboratory studies used to evaluate the hemostatic system of the IUGR small for gestational age neonate. We reviewed the current literature via PubMed and Scopus until September 2022. Following our inclusion/exclusion criteria, we finally included 60 studies in our review. Thrombocytopenia, characterized as hyporegenerative and a kinetic upshot of reduced platelet production due to in utero chronic hypoxia, was the main finding of most studies focusing on growth-restricted neonates, in most cases is mild and usually resolves spontaneously with the first 2 weeks of life. In regard to coagulation, growth-restricted newborns present with prolonged standard coagulation tests. Data regarding coagulation factors, fibrinolytic system, and anticoagulant proteins are scarce and conflicting, mainly due to confounding factors. As thromboelastography/rotational thromboelastometry (TEG/ROTEM) provides a more precise evaluation of the in vivo coagulation process compared with standard coagulation tests, its use in transfusion guidance is fundamental. Only one study regarding TEG/ROTEM was retrieved from this population, where no difference in ROTEM parameters compared with appropriate for gestational age neonates was found. Despite the laboratory aberrations, no correlation could be achieved with clinical manifestations of bleeding or thrombosis in the studies included. More studies are needed to assess hemostasis in IUGR neonates and guide targeted therapeutic interventions.
Coagulation in pediatric extracorporeal membrane oxygenation: A systematic review of studies shows lack of standardized reporting
Research and practice in thrombosis and haemostasis. 2022;6(2):e12687
OBJECTIVES Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) involves complex coagulation management and frequent hemostatic complications. ECMO practice between centers is variable. To compare results between coagulation studies, standardized definitions and clear documentation of ECMO practice is essential. We assessed how study population, outcome definitions, and ECMO-, coagulation-, and transfusion-related parameters were described in pediatric ECMO studies. DATA SOURCES Embase, Medline, Web of Science, Cochrane Library and Google Scholar. STUDY SELECTION English original studies of pediatric ECMO patients describing hemostatic tests or outcome. DATA EXTRACTION Eligibility was assessed following PRISMA guidelines. Study population, outcome and ECMO-, coagulation, and transfusion parameters were summarized. DATA SYNTHESIS A total of 107 of 1312 records were included. Study population parameters most frequently included (gestational) age (79%), gender (60%), and (birth) weight (59%). Outcomes, including definitions of bleeding (29%), thrombosis (15%), and survival (43%), were described using various definitions. Description of pump type, oxygenator and cannulation mode occurred in 49%, 45%, and 36% of studies, respectively. The main coagulation test (53%), its reference ranges (49%), and frequency of testing (24%) were the most prevalent reported coagulation parameters. The transfusion thresholds for platelets, red blood cells, and fibrinogen were described in 27%, 18%, and 18% of studies, respectively. CONCLUSIONS This systematic review demonstrates a widespread lack of detail or standardization of several parameters in coagulation research of pediatric ECMO patients. We suggest several parameters that might be included in future coagulation studies. We encourage the ECMO community to adopt and refine this list of parameters and to use standardized definitions in future research.
Adsorption of insulin onto neonatal infusion sets: should intravenous administration of insulin to treat hyperglycemia in preterm babies on the NICU be proceeded by priming of the intravenous system, adding of albumin, or non-priming to get to a stable insulin dose?
Molecular and cellular pediatrics. 2022;9(1):20
Insulin is used to treat neonatal hyperglycaemia when blood glucose concentrations are consistently high, and to treat neonatal diabetes. Within this brief report, a review of the existing literature is conducted to determine if intravenous administration of insulin should be proceeded by priming of the intravenous system, adding of albumin, or non-priming to get a stable insulin dose. Within this literature search, we focused on experimental insulin adsorption data (in vitro studies).
Early erythropoietin for preventing necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm neonates - an updated meta-analysis
European Journal of Pediatrics. 2022;181(5):1821-1833
Previous systematic reviews suggest reduction in necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) among preterm infants supplemented with erythropoietin (EPO). We aimed to update our 2018 systematic review in this field considering the evidence accumulated over the last 3 years. Randomized controlled trials (RCTs) reporting the effect of early EPO supplementation vs placebo/no EPO supplementation on any stage NEC in preterm infants were included. Fixed effect model was used for meta-analysis. Trial sequential analysis (TSA) was conducted to verify the effects of EPO on NEC after accounting for repeated significance testing. A total of 22 RCTs (n = 5359) were included, of which six were new (n = 2541 additional preterm infants) in comparison to our previous systematic review. EPO significantly decreased the risk of any stage NEC (232/2669 (8.7%) vs 313/2690 (11.6%); RR: 0·76; TSA adjusted 95% CI (0·64, 0·90); p = 0·0008, number needed to treat (NNT) = 34). The risk of definite NEC (≥ Stage II) was also significantly reduced by EPO administration (105/2219 (4.7%) vs 141/2246 (6.3%); RR: 0.77; 95% CI (0.61, 0.98); p = 0.03, NNT: 62). However, the results for definite NEC were no longer significant on sensitivity analyses that included (a) only double-blind RCTs and (b) only prospectively registered trials. The quality of evidence was deemed moderate-to-low for the reported outcomes. CONCLUSION There is moderate to low-quality evidence that early prophylactic EPO reduces any stage and ≥ Stage II NEC in preterm neonates. Prospectively registered, adequately powered, double-blind RCTs are required to confirm these findings. WHAT IS KNOWN • Experimental studies have shown that erythropoietin (EPO) has gastrointestinal trophic effects. • Systematic reviews have shown that early treatment with EPO may decrease the risk of gut injury in preterm or low birth weight infants. WHAT IS NEW • Early EPO supplementation significantly reduced the incidence of any stage NEC and definite NEC in preterm infants < 34 weeks of gestation. • EPO had no significant effect on definite NEC in the analyses that included only double-blinded and prospectively registered RCTs. How might it impact clinical practice in the foreseeable future? • Early prophylactic EPO can be recommended for NEC prevention if its benefits are consistently demonstrated in adequately powered randomized trials with a low risk of bias.
Fresh frozen plasma transfusion in the neonatal population: A systematic review
Blood reviews. 2022;:100951
Although fresh frozen plasma (FFP) transfusions are common practice in neonatology, robust evidence on their use is lacking. The aim of this study was to systematically review the literature for data on the practice of FFP transfusions in neonates and their association with neonatal morbidity and mortality. The authors identified 40 studies, which met the inclusion criteria for this review. It was demonstrated that the practice of FFP transfusions significantly varies throughout the world. The majority of FFP transfusions are administered "prophylactically", without evidence of active bleeding. Although FFP transfusions may restore coagulation tests results, they do not alter the clinical outcome of the neonates. Reactions following transfusions are probably underestimated in neonates, often undiagnosed and thus, underreported. High quality RCTs aiming to evaluate the effectiveness of FFP in specific clinical conditions are urgently needed, as they could change long-standing FFP transfusion practices, and help reduce neonatal morbidity and mortality.
Regional Oxygenation and Perfusion Monitoring to Optimize Neonatal Packed Red Blood Cell Transfusion Practices: A Systematic Review
Transfusion medicine reviews. 2021
Contemporary packed red blood cell transfusion practices in anaemic preterm infants are primarily based on measurement of hemoglobin or haematocrit. In neonatal intensive care units, most preterm infants receive at least 1 packed red cell transfusion as standard treatment for anaemia of prematurity. Clinicians are faced with a common question "at what threshold should anaemic preterm infants receive packed red blood cell transfusion?". While evidence from interventional trials offers a range of haemoglobin levels to clinicians on thresholds to initiate red cell transfusion, it does not offer identification of exact haemoglobin level at which regional oxygenation and perfusion gets compromised. Assessment of regional oxygenation using near infrared spectroscopy and perfusion using ultrasound could offer a personalized transfusion medicine approach to optimize transfusion practices. We conducted a systematic review of the literature to identify the role of both regional oxygenation and/or ultrasound-based perfusion monitoring as a potential trigger to initiate packed red blood cell transfusion in anaemic preterm infants. MEDLINE, Embase, Maternity and Infant Care database were searched up to March 2021. Publications identified were screened and relevant data was extracted. Changes to regional oxygenation and/or perfusion monitoring before and after packed red blood cell transfusion were the primary outcomes. 44 out of 755 studies met the inclusion criteria and were included in the final analysis. Most were prospective, observational studies in stable preterm infants. Overall, studies reported an improvement in regional oxygenation and/or ultrasound-based perfusion after packed red blood cell transfusion. These changes were more consistently observed when hemoglobin <9.6g/dL or hematocrit was <0.30. Significant variation was found for patient characteristics, postnatal age at the time of monitoring, criteria for diagnosis of anaemia, and period of monitoring as well as regional oxygenation monitoring methodology. Regional oxygenation and/or perfusion monitoring can identify at-risk anaemic preterm infants and are promising tools to individualize packed red blood cell transfusion practices. However, there is lack of evidence for incorporating this monitoring, in their present form, into standard clinical practice. Additionally, consistency in reporting of study methodology should be improved.
Anaemic preterm infants (44 studies).
Systematic review to identify the role of both regional oxygenation and/or ultrasound-based perfusion monitoring as a potential trigger to initiate packed red blood cell transfusion.
Overall, studies reported an improvement in regional oxygenation and/or ultrasound-based perfusion after packed red blood cell transfusion. These changes were more consistently observed when haemoglobin <9.6g/dL or haematocrit was <0.30. Significant variation was found for patient characteristics, postnatal age at the time of monitoring, criteria for diagnosis of anaemia, and period of monitoring as well as regional oxygenation monitoring methodology.