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Octreotide as therapeutic option for congenital idiopathic chylothorax: a case series

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Background:  Octreotide, a somatostatin analogue, is used for the management of patients with refractory chylothorax although its safety and efficacy in neonates have not been evaluated in controlled clinical trials. We present one of the largest case series about the use of octreotide in congenital idiopathic chylothorax.

Methods:  Six cases of congenital chylothorax (CC) were prospectively collected, who were managed with same unit protocol for octreotide. Mean (SD) gestation was 34.5 (±2.2) weeks, and birthweight was 3410 (±840.4) g. All infants required chest drains from day 1 of life, and the mean (SD) duration of insertion was 36.1 (±8.5) days. Octreotide was commenced at a median age of 13.5 days (range 8–22), given for a median duration of 20 days (range 12–27). The starting dose was 0.5–1 μg/kg/h with an increment of 1–2 μg/kg/day to a maximum of 10 μg/kg/day. Resolution of chylothorax was achieved in five patients, being resistant to treatment in the sixth patient. None had adverse effects from octreotide. Full enteral feeds were reached at a mean age of 44 days.

Conclusion:  Early commencement of octreotide is recommended although further reports to evaluate the safety and efficacy would add to the profile of this medication in the treatment of CC.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2012-04-01

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