J Korean Pediatr Soc.  1997 Sep;40(9):1227-1231.

Erythropoietin Levels in Premature Infants Following Prolonged Treatment with Theophylline

Affiliations
  • 1Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, Chosun University, Kwang Ju, Korea.

Abstract

PURPOSE
Theophylline, an adenosine antagonist commonly used in premature infants to treat apnea, has been shown to decrease erythropoietin levels in adults. We studied the effect of theophylline on serum erythropoietin levels in premature infants with apnea.
METHODS
Subject were 12 premature infants with apnea who were admitted to the NICU, Chosun University Hospital. The first dose of theophylline was 5mg/kg, given intravenously, followed by 1 to 2mg/kg per day. Serum levels were maintained between 5 and 12microgram/dl with dosage adjustments. Erythropoietin, hemoglobin, hematocrit, reticulocyte count, erythrocyte indices were obtained on the last day of theophylline treatment and again 1 week later. Erythropoietin levels were determined by radioimmunoassay. Blood transfusions were avoided a week before and during the study period.
RESULTS
1) Hemoglobin and hematocrit levels were decreased at 1 week after the discontinuation of theophylline treatment compared to the last day of theophylline treatment (P<0.05), but reticulocyte count (%) was increased (P<0.05). 2) There was a significant increase in serum erythropoietin levels from 3.31+/-1.53u/l to 6.68+/-2.41u/l (P<0.05). 3) No correlation was found between erythropoietin levels and the number of days on respirator, the number of days of O2 supply, the number of apneic episodes, the number of blood transfusion, the period of theophylline treatment and the theophylline blood levels.
CONCLUSIONS
We suggest that prolonged treatment with theophylline might reduce erythropoietin production in premature infants.

Keyword

Theophylline; Erythropoietin; Apnea of prematurity

MeSH Terms

Adenosine
Adult
Apnea
Blood Transfusion
Erythrocyte Indices
Erythropoietin*
Hematocrit
Humans
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature*
Radioimmunoassay
Reticulocyte Count
Theophylline*
Ventilators, Mechanical
Adenosine
Erythropoietin
Theophylline
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