Vitamin E supplementation for prevention of morbidity and mortality in preterm infants.

L. P. Brion, E. F. Bell, T. S. Raghuveer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

186 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Treating very low birth weight (VLBW) infants with pharmacologic doses of vitamin E as an antioxidant agent has been proposed for preventing or limiting retinopathy of prematurity, intracranial hemorrhage, hemolytic anemia, and chronic lung disease. However, excessive doses of vitamin E may result in side effects. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this systematic review was to assess the effects of vitamin E supplementation on morbidity and mortality in preterm infants. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched MEDLINE (October 2002), EMBASE (March 2002), the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCTR) from the Cochrane Library, 2003, Issue 1, and personal files for clinical trials assessing vitamin E in preterm infants. SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected trials analyzing primary outcomes (mortality or combined long-term morbidity) or secondary outcomes (other morbidity) in infants with gestational age less than 37 weeks or birth weight less than 2500 grams. The intervention was allocation to routine supplementation with vitamin E in the treatment group versus placebo, no treatment or another type, dose or route of administration of vitamin E. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard methods of the Cochrane Collaboration and of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. MAIN RESULTS: Twenty-six randomized clinical trials fulfilled entry criteria. No study assessed combined long-term morbidity. Routine vitamin E supplementation significantly reduced the risk of germinal/intraventricular hemorrhage (typical relative risk [RR] 0.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73, 0.99), increased the risk of sepsis (typical RR 1.52, CI 1.13, 2.04) and increased hemoglobin concentration by a small amount, but did not significantly affect mortality and other morbidity. In VLBW infants, vitamin E supplementation increased the risk of sepsis, and reduced the risk of severe retinopathy and blindness among those examined. Subgroup analyses in VLBW infants showed (1) an association between serum tocopherol levels greater than 3.5 mg/dl and increased risk of sepsis and reduced risk for severe retinopathy among those examined; and (2) an association between intravenous, high-dose administration of vitamin E and increased risk of sepsis. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin E supplementation in preterm infants reduced the risk of intracranial hemorrhage but increased the risk of sepsis. In very low birth weight infants it increased the risk of sepsis, and reduced the risk of severe retinopathy and blindness among those examined. Evidence does not support the routine use of vitamin E supplementation by intravenous route at high doses, or aiming at serum tocopherol levels greater than 3.5 mg/dl.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCochrane database of systematic reviews (Online)
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2003

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Vitamin E
Premature Infants
Morbidity
Mortality
Sepsis
Very Low Birth Weight Infant
Tocopherols
Intracranial Hemorrhages
Blindness
Confidence Intervals
Retinopathy of Prematurity
Hemolytic Anemia
Serum
Birth Weight
MEDLINE
Lung Diseases
Gestational Age
Libraries
Hemoglobins
Chronic Disease

Cite this

Vitamin E supplementation for prevention of morbidity and mortality in preterm infants. / Brion, L. P.; Bell, E. F.; Raghuveer, T. S.

In: Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Online), No. 3, 2003.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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title = "Vitamin E supplementation for prevention of morbidity and mortality in preterm infants.",
abstract = "BACKGROUND: Treating very low birth weight (VLBW) infants with pharmacologic doses of vitamin E as an antioxidant agent has been proposed for preventing or limiting retinopathy of prematurity, intracranial hemorrhage, hemolytic anemia, and chronic lung disease. However, excessive doses of vitamin E may result in side effects. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this systematic review was to assess the effects of vitamin E supplementation on morbidity and mortality in preterm infants. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched MEDLINE (October 2002), EMBASE (March 2002), the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCTR) from the Cochrane Library, 2003, Issue 1, and personal files for clinical trials assessing vitamin E in preterm infants. SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected trials analyzing primary outcomes (mortality or combined long-term morbidity) or secondary outcomes (other morbidity) in infants with gestational age less than 37 weeks or birth weight less than 2500 grams. The intervention was allocation to routine supplementation with vitamin E in the treatment group versus placebo, no treatment or another type, dose or route of administration of vitamin E. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard methods of the Cochrane Collaboration and of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. MAIN RESULTS: Twenty-six randomized clinical trials fulfilled entry criteria. No study assessed combined long-term morbidity. Routine vitamin E supplementation significantly reduced the risk of germinal/intraventricular hemorrhage (typical relative risk [RR] 0.85, 95{\%} confidence interval [CI] 0.73, 0.99), increased the risk of sepsis (typical RR 1.52, CI 1.13, 2.04) and increased hemoglobin concentration by a small amount, but did not significantly affect mortality and other morbidity. In VLBW infants, vitamin E supplementation increased the risk of sepsis, and reduced the risk of severe retinopathy and blindness among those examined. Subgroup analyses in VLBW infants showed (1) an association between serum tocopherol levels greater than 3.5 mg/dl and increased risk of sepsis and reduced risk for severe retinopathy among those examined; and (2) an association between intravenous, high-dose administration of vitamin E and increased risk of sepsis. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin E supplementation in preterm infants reduced the risk of intracranial hemorrhage but increased the risk of sepsis. In very low birth weight infants it increased the risk of sepsis, and reduced the risk of severe retinopathy and blindness among those examined. Evidence does not support the routine use of vitamin E supplementation by intravenous route at high doses, or aiming at serum tocopherol levels greater than 3.5 mg/dl.",
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AU - Brion, L. P.

AU - Bell, E. F.

AU - Raghuveer, T. S.

PY - 2003

Y1 - 2003

N2 - BACKGROUND: Treating very low birth weight (VLBW) infants with pharmacologic doses of vitamin E as an antioxidant agent has been proposed for preventing or limiting retinopathy of prematurity, intracranial hemorrhage, hemolytic anemia, and chronic lung disease. However, excessive doses of vitamin E may result in side effects. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this systematic review was to assess the effects of vitamin E supplementation on morbidity and mortality in preterm infants. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched MEDLINE (October 2002), EMBASE (March 2002), the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCTR) from the Cochrane Library, 2003, Issue 1, and personal files for clinical trials assessing vitamin E in preterm infants. SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected trials analyzing primary outcomes (mortality or combined long-term morbidity) or secondary outcomes (other morbidity) in infants with gestational age less than 37 weeks or birth weight less than 2500 grams. The intervention was allocation to routine supplementation with vitamin E in the treatment group versus placebo, no treatment or another type, dose or route of administration of vitamin E. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard methods of the Cochrane Collaboration and of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. MAIN RESULTS: Twenty-six randomized clinical trials fulfilled entry criteria. No study assessed combined long-term morbidity. Routine vitamin E supplementation significantly reduced the risk of germinal/intraventricular hemorrhage (typical relative risk [RR] 0.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73, 0.99), increased the risk of sepsis (typical RR 1.52, CI 1.13, 2.04) and increased hemoglobin concentration by a small amount, but did not significantly affect mortality and other morbidity. In VLBW infants, vitamin E supplementation increased the risk of sepsis, and reduced the risk of severe retinopathy and blindness among those examined. Subgroup analyses in VLBW infants showed (1) an association between serum tocopherol levels greater than 3.5 mg/dl and increased risk of sepsis and reduced risk for severe retinopathy among those examined; and (2) an association between intravenous, high-dose administration of vitamin E and increased risk of sepsis. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin E supplementation in preterm infants reduced the risk of intracranial hemorrhage but increased the risk of sepsis. In very low birth weight infants it increased the risk of sepsis, and reduced the risk of severe retinopathy and blindness among those examined. Evidence does not support the routine use of vitamin E supplementation by intravenous route at high doses, or aiming at serum tocopherol levels greater than 3.5 mg/dl.

AB - BACKGROUND: Treating very low birth weight (VLBW) infants with pharmacologic doses of vitamin E as an antioxidant agent has been proposed for preventing or limiting retinopathy of prematurity, intracranial hemorrhage, hemolytic anemia, and chronic lung disease. However, excessive doses of vitamin E may result in side effects. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this systematic review was to assess the effects of vitamin E supplementation on morbidity and mortality in preterm infants. SEARCH STRATEGY: We searched MEDLINE (October 2002), EMBASE (March 2002), the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCTR) from the Cochrane Library, 2003, Issue 1, and personal files for clinical trials assessing vitamin E in preterm infants. SELECTION CRITERIA: We selected trials analyzing primary outcomes (mortality or combined long-term morbidity) or secondary outcomes (other morbidity) in infants with gestational age less than 37 weeks or birth weight less than 2500 grams. The intervention was allocation to routine supplementation with vitamin E in the treatment group versus placebo, no treatment or another type, dose or route of administration of vitamin E. DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used standard methods of the Cochrane Collaboration and of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. MAIN RESULTS: Twenty-six randomized clinical trials fulfilled entry criteria. No study assessed combined long-term morbidity. Routine vitamin E supplementation significantly reduced the risk of germinal/intraventricular hemorrhage (typical relative risk [RR] 0.85, 95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73, 0.99), increased the risk of sepsis (typical RR 1.52, CI 1.13, 2.04) and increased hemoglobin concentration by a small amount, but did not significantly affect mortality and other morbidity. In VLBW infants, vitamin E supplementation increased the risk of sepsis, and reduced the risk of severe retinopathy and blindness among those examined. Subgroup analyses in VLBW infants showed (1) an association between serum tocopherol levels greater than 3.5 mg/dl and increased risk of sepsis and reduced risk for severe retinopathy among those examined; and (2) an association between intravenous, high-dose administration of vitamin E and increased risk of sepsis. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: Vitamin E supplementation in preterm infants reduced the risk of intracranial hemorrhage but increased the risk of sepsis. In very low birth weight infants it increased the risk of sepsis, and reduced the risk of severe retinopathy and blindness among those examined. Evidence does not support the routine use of vitamin E supplementation by intravenous route at high doses, or aiming at serum tocopherol levels greater than 3.5 mg/dl.

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