Early corticosteroid treatment does not affect severity of unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia in extreme low birth weight preterm infants
To determine the relationship between early postnatal dexamethasone (DXM) treatment and the severity of hyperbilirubinemia in extreme low birth weight (ELBW) preterm infants. Methods:
In 54 ELBW preterm infants, total serum bilirubin concentrations (TSB) and phototherapy (PT) data during the first 10 days were evaluated retrospectively. ELBW infants had participated in a randomized controlled trial of early DXM treatment which aimed to assess effects on chronic lung disease. Infants had been treated with DXM (0.25 mg/kg twice daily at postnatal day 1 and 2) or with placebo (normal saline). Analysis was performed on an intention to treat basis. Results:
Twenty-five Infants had been randomized into the DXM group; 29 into the placebo group. Mean (±SD) TSB [120 (±19) μmol/L vs. 123 (±28) μmol/L, DXM versus placebo, respectively] and maximum TSB [178 (±23) μmol/L vs. 176 (±48), DXM versus placebo, respectively] concentrations were similar. TSB concentrations peaked 30 h earlier in the DXM group (p ≤ 0.05). The need for PT as well as the duration of PT was similar in both groups. Conclusions:
Early DXM treatment does not affect the severity of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia in ELBW preterm infants. Our results seem compatible with the concept that factors other than bilirubin conjugation capacity are important for the pathophysiology of neonatal jaundice in ELBW preterm infants.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: .Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Beatrix Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands 2: .Department of Pediatrics, Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland 3: .Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Department of Pediatrics, Beatrix Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands
Publication date: February 1, 2011