Transfusions and neurodevelopmental outcomes in extremely low gestation neonates enrolled in the PENUT Trial: a randomized clinical trial
Pediatric research. 2021;:1-8
BACKGROUND Outcomes of extremely low gestational age neonates (ELGANs) may be adversely impacted by packed red blood cell (pRBC) transfusions. We investigated the impact of transfusions on neurodevelopmental outcome in the Preterm Erythropoietin (Epo) Neuroprotection (PENUT) Trial population. METHODS This is a post hoc analysis of 936 infants 24-0/6 to 27-6/7 weeks' gestation enrolled in the PENUT Trial. Epo 1000 U/kg or placebo was given every 48 h × 6 doses, followed by 400 U/kg or sham injections 3 times a week through 32 weeks postmenstrual age. Six hundred and twenty-eight (315 placebo, 313 Epo) survived and were assessed at 2 years of age. We evaluated associations between BSID-III scores and the number and volume of pRBC transfusions. RESULTS Each transfusion was associated with a decrease in mean cognitive score of 0.96 (95% CI of [-1.34, -0.57]), a decrease in mean motor score of 1.51 (-1.91, -1.12), and a decrease in mean language score of 1.10 (-1.54, -0.66). Significant negative associations between BSID-III score and transfusion volume and donor exposure were observed in the placebo group but not in the Epo group. CONCLUSIONS Transfusions in ELGANs were associated with worse outcomes. We speculate that strategies to minimize the need for transfusions may improve outcomes. IMPACT Transfusion number, volume, and donor exposure in the neonatal period are associated with worse neurodevelopmental (ND) outcome at 2 years of age, as assessed by the Bayley Infant Scales of Development, Third Edition (BSID-III). The impact of neonatal packed red blood cell transfusions on the neurodevelopmental outcome of preterm infants is unknown. We speculate that strategies to minimize the need for transfusions may improve neurodevelopmental outcomes.
Effect of blood transfusions on cognitive development in very low birth weight infants
Journal of perinatology : official journal of the California Perinatal Association. 2021
OBJECTIVE Preterm infants frequently receive red cell transfusions; however, the effect of transfusions on cognition is unclear. We evaluated the relationship between transfusions and cognitive outcomes in preterm infants enrolled in a randomized trial of erythropoiesis stimulating agents (ESAs). STUDY DESIGN Preterm infants were randomized to ESAs or placebo during initial hospitalization, and transfusions recorded. Children were evaluated using standard developmental tests of cognition at 18-22 months (56 ESA, 24 placebo) and 3.5-4 years (39 ESA, 14 placebo). RESULTS Cognitive scores at 18-22 months were inversely correlated with transfusion volume (p = 0.02). Among those receiving ≥1 transfusion, cognitive scores were significantly higher in the ESA-treated group (p = 0.003). At 3.5-4 years, transfusions were not correlated with cognitive scores. CONCLUSIONS In the placebo group, transfused children had lower cognitive scores than did non-transfused children at 18-22 months. In the ESA group, cognitive scores did not differ by transfusion status, suggesting ESAs might provide neuroprotection.
Enteral Iron Supplementation in Extremely Preterm Infants and its Positive Correlation with Neurodevelopment; Post Hoc Analysis of the PENUT Randomized Controlled Trial
The Journal of pediatrics. 2021
OBJECTIVES To test whether an increased iron dose is associated with improved neurodevelopment as assessed by the Bayley Scales of Infant Development (BSID-III) among infants enrolled in the Preterm Erythropoietin (Epo) Neuroprotection Trial (PENUT). STUDY DESIGN This is a post hoc analysis of a randomized trial which enrolled infants born at 24 to 28 completed weeks of gestation. All PENUT infants who were assessed with BSID-III at 2 years were included in this study. The associations between enteral iron dose at 60 and 90 days and BSID-III component scores were evaluated using generalized estimating equations models adjusted for potential confounders. RESULTS 692 infants were analyzed (355 placebo, 337 Epo). Enteral iron supplementation ranged 0-14.7 mg/kg/day (IQR 2.1-5.8 mg/kg/day) at day 60, with a mean of 3.6 mg/kg/day in placebo-treated infants and 4.8 mg/kg/day in Epo-treated infants. A significant positive association was seen between BSID-III cognitive scores and iron dose at 60 days, with an effect size of 0.77 BSID points per 50 mg/kg increase in cumulative iron dose (P = .03). Higher iron doses were associated with higher motor and language scores, but did not reach statistical significance. Results at 90 days were not significant. The effect size in the Epo-treated infants compared with placebo was consistently higher. CONCLUSION A positive association was seen between iron dose at 60 days and cognitive outcomes. Our results suggest that increased iron supplementation in preterm infants, at the doses administered in the PENUT Trial, may have positive neurodevelopmental effects, particularly in infants treated with Epo.
Infants enrolled in the Preterm Erythropoietin Neuroprotection Trial (PENUT), (n= 692).
Erythropoietin (Epo), (n= 337).
Placebo (n= 355).
Enteral iron supplementation ranged 0-14.7 mg/kg/day (IQR 2.1-5.8 mg/kg/day) at day 60, with a mean of 3.6 mg/kg/day in placebo-treated infants and 4.8 mg/kg/day in Epo-treated infants. A significant positive association was seen between BSID-III cognitive scores and iron dose at 60 days, with an effect size of 0.77 BSID points per 50 mg/kg increase in cumulative iron dose. Higher iron doses were associated with higher motor and language scores, but did not reach statistical significance. Results at 90 days were not significant. The effect size in the Epo-treated infants compared with placebo was consistently higher.
Higher or Lower Hemoglobin Transfusion Thresholds for Preterm Infants
The New England journal of medicine. 2020;383(27):2639-2651
BACKGROUND Limited data suggest that higher hemoglobin thresholds for red-cell transfusions may reduce the risk of cognitive delay among extremely-low-birth-weight infants with anemia. METHODS We performed an open, multicenter trial in which infants with a birth weight of 1000 g or less and a gestational age between 22 weeks 0 days and 28 weeks 6 days were randomly assigned within 48 hours after delivery to receive red-cell transfusions at higher or lower hemoglobin thresholds until 36 weeks of postmenstrual age or discharge, whichever occurred first. The primary outcome was a composite of death or neurodevelopmental impairment (cognitive delay, cerebral palsy, or hearing or vision loss) at 22 to 26 months of age, corrected for prematurity. RESULTS A total of 1824 infants (mean birth weight, 756 g; mean gestational age, 25.9 weeks) underwent randomization. There was a between-group difference of 1.9 g per deciliter (19 g per liter) in the pretransfusion mean hemoglobin levels throughout the treatment period. Primary outcome data were available for 1692 infants (92.8%). Of 845 infants in the higher-threshold group, 423 (50.1%) died or survived with neurodevelopmental impairment, as compared with 422 of 847 infants (49.8%) in the lower-threshold group (relative risk adjusted for birth-weight stratum and center, 1.00; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.92 to 1.10; P = 0.93). At 2 years, the higher- and lower-threshold groups had similar incidences of death (16.2% and 15.0%, respectively) and neurodevelopmental impairment (39.6% and 40.3%, respectively). At discharge from the hospital, the incidences of survival without severe complications were 28.5% and 30.9%, respectively. Serious adverse events occurred in 22.7% and 21.7%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS In extremely-low-birth-weight infants, a higher hemoglobin threshold for red-cell transfusion did not improve survival without neurodevelopmental impairment at 22 to 26 months of age, corrected for prematurity. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and others; TOP ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01702805.).
Preterm infants in 19 US centres (n= 1,824).
Red-cell transfusions at higher haemoglobin threshold (n= 911).
Red-cell transfusions at lower haemoglobin threshold (n= 913).
Primary outcome data were available for 1,692 infants (92.8%). Of 845 infants in the higher-threshold group, 423 (50.1%) died or survived with neurodevelopmental impairment, as compared with 422 of 847 infants (49.8%) in the lower-threshold group. At 2 years, the higher- and lower-threshold groups had similar incidences of death 16.2% and 15.0%, respectively and neurodevelopmental impairment 39.6% and 40.3%, respectively. At discharge from the hospital, the incidences of survival without severe complications were 28.5% and 30.9%, respectively. Serious adverse events occurred in 22.7% and 21.7%, respectively.
A Randomized Trial of Erythropoietin for Neuroprotection in Preterm Infants
The New England journal of medicine. 2020;382(3):233-243
BACKGROUND High-dose erythropoietin has been shown to have a neuroprotective effect in preclinical models of neonatal brain injury, and phase 2 trials have suggested possible efficacy; however, the benefits and safety of this therapy in extremely preterm infants have not been established. METHODS In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind trial of high-dose erythropoietin, we assigned 941 infants who were born at 24 weeks 0 days to 27 weeks 6 days of gestation to receive erythropoietin or placebo within 24 hours after birth. Erythropoietin was administered intravenously at a dose of 1000 U per kilogram of body weight every 48 hours for a total of six doses, followed by a maintenance dose of 400 U per kilogram three times per week by subcutaneous injection through 32 completed weeks of postmenstrual age. Placebo was administered as intravenous saline followed by sham injections. The primary outcome was death or severe neurodevelopmental impairment at 22 to 26 months of postmenstrual age. Severe neurodevelopmental impairment was defined as severe cerebral palsy or a composite motor or composite cognitive score of less than 70 (which corresponds to 2 SD below the mean, with higher scores indicating better performance) on the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, third edition. RESULTS A total of 741 infants were included in the per-protocol efficacy analysis: 376 received erythropoietin and 365 received placebo. There was no significant difference between the erythropoietin group and the placebo group in the incidence of death or severe neurodevelopmental impairment at 2 years of age (97 children [26%] vs. 94 children [26%]; relative risk, 1.03; 95% confidence interval, 0.81 to 1.32; P = 0.80). There were no significant differences between the groups in the rates of retinopathy of prematurity, intracranial hemorrhage, sepsis, necrotizing enterocolitis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, or death or in the frequency of serious adverse events. CONCLUSIONS High-dose erythropoietin treatment administered to extremely preterm infants from 24 hours after birth through 32 weeks of postmenstrual age did not result in a lower risk of severe neurodevelopmental impairment or death at 2 years of age. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; PENUT ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT01378273.).
A randomized, masked, placebo-controlled study of darbepoetin alfa in preterm infants
BACKGROUND A novel erythropoiesis stimulating agent (ESA), darbepoetin alfa (Darbe), increases hematocrit in anemic adults when administered every 1 to 3 weeks. Weekly Darbe dosing has not been evaluated in preterm infants. We hypothesized that infants would respond to Darbe by decreasing transfusion needs compared with placebo, with less-frequent dosing than erythropoietin (Epo). METHODS Preterm infants 500 to 1250 g birth weight and <=48 hours of age were randomized to Darbe (10 ug/kg, 1 time per week subcutaneously), Epo (400 U/kg, 3 times per week subcutaneously) or placebo (sham dosing) through 35 weeks' gestation. All received supplemental iron, folate, and vitamin E, and were transfused according to protocol. Transfusions (primary outcome), complete blood counts, absolute reticulocyte counts (ARCs), phlebotomy losses, and adverse events were recorded. RESULTS A total of 102 infants (946 +/- 196 g, 27.7 +/- 1.8 weeks' gestation, 51 +/- 25 hours of age at first dose) were enrolled. Infants in the Darbe and Epo groups received significantly fewer transfusions (P = .015) and were exposed to fewer donors (P = .044) than the placebo group (Darbe: 1.2 +/- 2.4 transfusions and 0.7 +/- 1.2 donors per infant; Epo: 1.2 +/- 1.6 transfusions and 0.8 +/- 1.0 donors per infant; placebo: 2.4 +/- 2.9 transfusions and 1.2 +/- 1.3 donors per infant). Hematocrit and ARC were higher in the Darbe and Epo groups compared with placebo (P = .001, Darbe and Epo versus placebo for both hematocrit and ARCs). Morbidities were similar among groups, including the incidence of retinopathy of prematurity. CONCLUSIONS Infants receiving Darbe or Epo received fewer transfusions and fewer donor exposures, and fewer injections were given to Darbe recipients. Darbepoetin and Epo successfully serve as adjuncts to transfusions in maintaining red cell mass in preterm infants.
A randomized, masked study of weekly erythropoietin dosing in preterm infants
The Journal of Pediatrics. 2012;160((5):):790-5.e1.
OBJECTIVE To compare reticulocyte responses of once-per-week erythropoietin (EPO) dosing with 3-times-a-week dosing in preterm infants. STUDY DESIGN Infants weighing ? 1500 g and ? 7 days of age were randomized to once-per-week EPO, 1200 U/kg/dose, or 3-times-a-week EPO, 400 U/kg/dose, subcutaneously for 4 weeks, along with iron and vitamin supplementation. Complete blood counts, absolute reticulocyte counts (ARCs), transfusions, phlebotomy losses, and adverse events were recorded. RESULTS Twenty preterm infants (962 ± 55 g, 27.9 ± 0.4 weeks, 17 ± 3 days of age) were enrolled. Groups were similar at baseline. Infants in both groups had increased ARCs, which were similar between treatment groups at the start and end of 4 weeks. Hematocrit remained stable, and similar numbers of transfusions were administered. No adverse effects of either dosing schedule were noted. CONCLUSIONS Preterm infants respond to weekly EPO by increasing ARCs and maintaining hematocrit. We speculate that once-per-week EPO dosing might be beneficial to preterm infants requiring increased erythropoiesis.
Erythropoietin increases reticulocyte counts and maintains hematocrit in neonates requiring surgery
Journal of Pediatric Surgery. 2009;44((8):):1540-5.
BACKGROUND Limited erythropoietin (Epo) production diminishes neonates' ability to regenerate blood removed by phlebotomy. Neonates requiring surgery are at risk to receive multiple transfusions. We sought to determine if recombinant Epo administration to neonates requiring surgery would stimulate erythropoiesis. METHODS Infants were randomized in double-masked fashion to receive Epo (200 units kg(-1) d(-1)) or placebo for 14 days. Complete blood count, absolute reticulocyte count (ARC), phlebotomy losses, and transfusions were measured during the study period. Infants were transfused using a strict transfusion protocol. RESULTS In the Epo group (n = 10, 2034 +/- 308 g, 8 +/- 2 days old; mean +/- SEM), ARC increased significantly, whereas in the placebo group (n = 10, 2400 +/- 184 g, 7 +/- 2 days old), ARC remained low. Hematocrits in the Epo group trended upward from 34. 4 1. 7% to 37. 3 1. 9% (although not statistically significant) despite phlebotomy losses of 53 +/- 12 mL/kg. Hematocrits in the placebo group were 35. 9 1. 8% and 33. 2 1. 6% on days 1 and 15, respectively, with phlebotomy losses of 27 +/- 5 mL/kg. There were no differences in absolute neutrophil counts or platelet counts between groups at the end of the study. No adverse effects were noted. CONCLUSIONS Infants randomized to Epo increased reticulocyte counts and hematocrits without adverse effects. Erythropoietin administration may provide an adjunct to present care in decreasing or eliminating erythrocyte transfusions in surgical neonates.
Single-dose darbepoetin administration to anemic preterm neonates
Journal of Perinatology. 2005;25((11):):725-30.
Objective: Darbepoetin is longer acting and more potent than recombinant erythropoietin (rEpo). In certain situations, preterm neonates might benefit from rEpo, and for such patients darbepoetin would require fewer doses at a lower cost. However, the proper dose and dosing interval have not been established. Study design: We performed a prospective trial in two level III Neonatal Intensive Care Units. Patients <32 weeks gestation at birth, with a birth weight (BW) <1500g, were eligible for participation if they were >21-days-old and had a hemoglobin (Hgb) concentration <=10. 5g/dl. In all, 12 were to receive a single subcutaneous (s. c. ) dose at either 1 or 4 mug/kg. Once before the dose was given, and at two preset intervals after, blood was obtained for immature reticulocyte fraction (IRF) and absolute reticulocyte count (ARC). Once before and at four preset intervals after, blood was obtained for pharmacokinetic studies. Results: The 12 subjects had BWs of 1129+/-245g (mean+/-SD), were 29. 2+/-1. 2 weeks gestation at delivery, and were 43+/-12 days old with an Hgb concentration of 9. 6+/-1. 0g/dl when the darbepoetin was given. Six received 1 mu;g/kg and six 4 mug/kg. The IRF increased (p<0. 05) as did the ARC (p<0. 05). The increases in IRF were somewhat greater among the 4 mug/kg recipients (P =0. 06). The highest recorded concentrations of drug occurred 6 to 12 hours after administration. The combined 6 and 12 hours values were 185+/-106mU/ ml in the 1 mug/kg group vs 597+/-238 in the 4 mug/kg group (p<0. 002). The t 1/2 was 26 hours (range 10 to 50). The biovailability-normalized clearance was 19ml/hour/kg (range 5 to 54). Conclusions: A single s. c. dose of darbepoetin given to preterm neonates accelerated effective erythropoiesis. The pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic findings suggest that darbepoetin dosing in neonates would require a higher unit dose/kg and a shorter dosing interval than are generally used for anemic adults. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B. V. , Amsterdam. All Rights Reserved.
Neurodevelopmental outcome and growth at 18 to 22 months' corrected age in extremely low birth weight infants treated with early erythropoietin and iron
BACKGROUND Clinical trials evaluating the use of erythropoietin (Epo) have demonstrated a limited reduction in transfusions; however, long-term developmental follow-up data are scarce. OBJECTIVE We compared anthropometric measurements, postdischarge events, need for transfusions, and developmental outcomes at 18 to 22 months' corrected age in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants treated with early Epo and supplemental iron therapy with that of placebo/control infants treated with supplemental iron alone. METHODS The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network completed a randomized, controlled trial of early Epo and iron therapy in preterm infants < or =1250 g. A total of 172 ELBW (< or =1000-g birth weight) infants were enrolled (87 Epo and 85 placebo/control). Of the 72 Epo-treated and 70 placebo/control ELBW infants surviving to discharge, follow-up data (growth, development, rehospitalization, transfusions) at 18 to 22 months' corrected age were collected on 51 of 72 Epo-treated infants (71%) and 51 of 70 placebo/controls (73%) by certified examiners masked to the treatment group. Statistical significance was determined using chi2 analysis. RESULTS There were no significant differences between treatment groups in weight or length or in the percentage of infants weighing <10th percentile either at the time of discharge or at follow-up, and no difference was found in the mean head circumference between groups. A similar percentage of infants in each group was rehospitalized (38% Epo and 35% placebo/control) for similar reasons. There were no differences between groups with respect to the percentage of infants with Bayley-II Mental Developmental Index <70 (34% Epo and 36% placebo/control), blindness (0% Epo and 2% placebo/control), deafness or hearing loss requiring amplification (2% Epo and 2% placebo/control), moderate to severe cerebral palsy (16% Epo and 18% placebo/control) or the percentage of infants with any of the above-described neurodevelopmental impairments (42% Epo and 44% placebo/control). CONCLUSIONS Treatment of ELBW infants with early Epo and iron does not significantly influence anthropometric measurements, need for rehospitalization, transfusions after discharge, or developmental outcome at 18 to 22 months' corrected age.