The objective of this study was to prove the superiority of doxapram compared to theophylline therapy in apneas of prematurity in very low birth weight infants. Therefore all VLBW infants (gestational age < 35 weeks) were randomized if they had in a 2 hours-interval more than 2 apneas, 4 bradycardias or 4 oxygen desaturations. They received either theophylline (loading dose 5 mg/kg b. w., 3 mg/kg b. w. bid) or doxapram by continuous infusion of 0.5 mg/kg/h. Apneas, bradycardias and desaturations were recorded from the trend analysis of our monitoring system over the first 3-days and a 7 days period and compared statistically (Mann-Whitney U-test). Plasma levels of both drugs and a polysomnographic recording were obtained during steady state conditions in parallel to a behavioral observation according to Prechtl. The recorded events were again compared using the Mann-Whitney U- test. Twenty patients were treated with theophylline, 14 with doxapram. In 9 patients of each group we could perform a polysomnography and behavioral observation. The incidence of apneas, bradycardias and desaturations in a 7 days-interval was not significantly different between both groups. Analyzing the first 3 days of treatment, however, we could detect a significantly lower rate of apneas in the doxapram group (2.5 apneas compared to 7 in the theophylline group, p < 0.037). In the polysomnographic recording and in our behavioral observations we could not record any significant differences between both groups. Therefore we can conclude that theophylline and doxapram are comparable in the treatment of apneas of prematurity, however, doxapram is superior to theophylline in reducing the rate of apneas in the first 3 days of treatment.
|Translated title of the contribution||A controlled clinical study comparing doxapram and theophylline in the treatment of apneas of prematurity|
|Number of pages||6|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
Research Areas and Centers
- Academic Focus: Center for Brain, Behavior and Metabolism (CBBM)