Diuretic therapy for newborn infants with posthemorrhagic ventricular dilatation.

A. Whitelaw, C. R. Kennedy, L. P. Brion

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

72 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND: Intraventricular hemorrhage remains a serious complication of premature birth and post hemorrhagic hydrocephalus still has no satisfactory treatment. Acetazolamide and furosemide, which both reduce the production of cerebrospinal fluid, have been suggested as non-invasive therapies to reduce hydrocephalus and the need for ventriculo-peritoneal (V-P) shunting. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this review was to determine whether the use of acetazolamide and furosemide improves outcome, especially shunt dependence, in infants developing post-hemorrhagic ventricular dilatation. SEARCH STRATEGY: The standard search strategy of the Cochrane Collaboration was used. SELECTION CRITERIA: Randomised, or quasi-randomised trials, of acetazolamide and/or furosemide compared with standard therapy in infants with IVH or post-hemorrhagic ventricular dilatation DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: Data were extracted independently by each author and were analysed by the standard methods of the Cochrane Collaboration using relative risk (RR) and risk difference (RD), a fixed effect model and sensitivity analyses where appropriate. MAIN RESULTS: There were two eligible trials: one randomized 16 infants and the other, 177. Neither showed a decreased risk for V-P shunt or for V-P shunt or death associated with acetazolamide and furosemide therapy. The larger trial showed that acetazolamide and furosemide treatment resulted in a borderline increase in the risk for motor impairment at one year (RR 1.27, CI 1.02 to 1.58; RD 0.16, CI 0.02 to 0.31), but did not significantly affect the risk for the combined outcome of delay, disability or motor impairment among survivors, or the risk of the combined outcome of death, delay, disability or impairment at one year. The larger trial showed that diuretic treatment increased the risk for nephrocalcinosis (RR 5.31, CI 1.90 to 14.84; RD 0.19, CI 0.09 to 0.29); meta-analysis confirmed this result. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Acetazolamide and furosemide therapy is neither effective nor safe in treating post hemorrhagic ventricular dilatation. Acetazolamide and furosemide cannot be recommended as therapy for post hemorrhagic hydrocephalus.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)CD002270
JournalCochrane database of systematic reviews (Online)
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)


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