Erythropoietin (rHuEPO) administration to premature infants for the treatment of their anemia

C Giannakopoulou, I Bolonaki, E Stiakaki, H Dimitriou, H Galanaki, E Hatzidaki, M Kalmanti
Pediatric Hematology and Oncology 1998, 15 (1): 37-43
In an attempt to stimulate erythrocyte production and thereby decrease the requirement for red blood transfusions, recombinant human erythropoietin (rHuEPO) was administered to 16 premature infants with birth weights less than 1000 g and to 18 with birth weights of 1000-1300 g; two corresponding groups, who did not receive rHuEPO, were used as control groups. The rHuEPO was administered subcutaneously in a dose of 300 IU/kg three times a week for 6-8 weeks. The erythropoietin decreased the red blood requirement in both groups of infants, and the increment of hemoglobin following rHuEPO administration was not statistically significant. No correlation was observed between gestational age, number of transfusions, and reticulocyte percentage. The effect of rHuEPO was higher in the group of infants with birth weights of 1000-1300 g than in those of less than 1000 g. No significant side effects were observed during rHuEPO administration.

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