Intraventricular hemorrhage and vitamin E in the very low-birth-weight infant: Evidence for efficacy of early intramuscular vitamin E administration

M. E. Speer, C. Blifeld, A. J. Rudolph, P. Chadda, M. E. Holbein, H. M. Hittner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations


To determine whether early intramuscular vitamin E supplementation influences the incidence of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) in infants with birth weight ≤ 1,500 g, data were analyzed from 134 infants enrolled on a protocol to evaluate the efficacy of intramuscular plus oral vitamin E v oral supplementation alone in the treatment of retrolental fibroplasia. All 134 infants received, via nasogastric tube, 100 mg/kg/d of vitamin E daily (dl-α-tocopheryl acetate in MCT [medium-chain triglyceride] oil; 150 mosM) for at least 8 weeks with the first dose administered within the first eight hours of life. Sixty-four patients received, in addition, intramuscular vitamin E on days 1, 2, 4, and 6 of life and 70 patients received placebo injections in a randomized double-blind fashion. In the first week, vitamin E plasma levels were significantly higher in the 64 patients given intramuscular vitamin E. In spite of this difference no change in the incidence of sepsis or necrotizing enterocolitis was observed. Both the incidence and severity of intraventricular hemorrhage were reduced significantly in the patients given intramuscular vitamin E as compared to the patients given placebo (P = .013 and P = .04, respectively). The data suggest that vitamin E, a natural antioxidant, may play an important role in protecting the CNS microcirculation from the effects of hypoxic/ischemic injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1107-1116
Number of pages10
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1984


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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