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1.  Effect of routine probiotic, Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938, use on rates of necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates with birthweight < 1000 grams: a sequential analysis 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:142.
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a disease in neonates, often resulting in death or serious medical or neurodevelopmental complications. The rate of NEC is highest in the smallest babies and many efforts have been tried to reduce the rate of NEC. In neonates born below 1500 grams, the rate of NEC has been significantly reduced with the use of various probiotics. This study examines the impact of routine use of a probiotic, Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 (BioGaia®), on the rate of NEC in neonates at highest risk for developing NEC, those with birth weight ≤1000 grams.
This is a retrospective cohort study comparing the rates of NEC in neonates with birth weight ≤ 1000 grams. The groups are separated into those neonates born from January 2004 to June 30, 2009, before introduction of L. reuteri , and neonates born July 2009 through April 2011 who received routine L. reuteri prophylaxis. The chart review study was approved by our institutional review board and exempted from informed consent.
Neonates were excluded if they died or were transferred within the first week of life. The remainder were categorized as having no NEC, medical NEC, surgical NEC, or NEC associated death. Since no major changes occurred in our NICU practice in recent years, and the introduction of L. reuteri as routine prophylaxis was abrupt, we attributed the post-probiotic changes to the introduction of this new therapy. Rates of NEC were compared using Chi square analysis with Fisher exact t-test.
Medical records for 311 neonates were reviewed, 232 before- and 79 after-introduction of L. reuteri prophylaxis. The incidence of NEC was significantly lower in the neonates who received L. reuteri (2 of 79 neonates [2.5%] versus 35 of 232 untreated neonates [15.1%]). Rates of late-onset gram-negative or fungal infections (22.8 versus 31%) were not statistically different between treated and untreated groups. No adverse events related to use of L reuteri were noted.
Prophylactic initiation of L. reuteri as a probiotic for prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis resulted in a statistically significant benefit, with avoidance of 1 NEC case for every 8 patients given prophylaxis.
PMCID: PMC3472183  PMID: 22947597
Necrotizing enterocolitis;  Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938; Probiotic; Extremely low birth weight
2.  Dexmedetomidine Versus Standard Therapy with Fentanyl for Sedation in Mechanically Ventilated Premature Neonates 
To compare the efficacy and safety of dexmedetomidine and fentanyl for sedation in mechanically ventilated premature neonates.
This was a retrospective, observational case-control study in a level III neonatal intensive care unit. Forty-eight premature neonates requiring mechanical ventilation were included. Patients received fentanyl (n=24) or dexmedetomidine (n=24) for pain or sedation. Each group also received fentanyl and lorazepam boluses as needed for agitation. The primary outcomes were efficacy and frequency of acute adverse events associated with each drug. Days on mechanical ventilation, stooling patterns, feeding tolerance, and neurologic outcomes were also evaluated.
There were no significant differences in baseline demographics between the dexmedetomidine and fentanyl patients. Patients in the dexmedetomidine group required less adjunctive sedation and had more days free of additional sedation in comparison to fentanyl (54.1% vs. 16.5%, p<0.0001). There were no differences in hemodynamic parameters between the 2 groups. Duration of mechanical ventilation was shorter in the dexmedetomidine group (14.4 vs. 28.4 days, p<0.001). Meconium passage (7.5 vs. 22.4 days, p<0.0002) and time from initiation to achievement of full enteral feeds (26.8 vs. 50.8 days, p<0.0001) were shorter in the dexmedetomidine group. Incidence of culture-positive sepsis was lower in the dexmedetomidine group (48% vs. 88%). The incidence of either severe intraventricular hemorrhage or periventricular leukomalacia was not statistically significantly reduced (2% vs. 7%).
Dexmedetomidine was safe and effective for sedation in the premature neonates included in this study. Prospective randomized-controlled trials are needed before routine use of dexmedetomidine can be recommended.
PMCID: PMC3526929  PMID: 23258968
dexmedetomidine; fentanyl; mechanical ventilation; neonate; sedation
3.  Low-Dose Aminophylline for the Treatment of Neonatal Non-Oliguric Renal Failure—Case Series and Review of the Literature 
Aminophylline is a methylxanthine with multiple physiologic actions. At low doses, aminophylline can antagonize adenosine and improve renal function via increased glomerular filtration rate. Despite its clinical use, little data exists in neonates for this indication. Therefore, the objective of this report is to describe the impact of aminophylline on renal function indices in a series of neonates with acute renal failure.
This was a retrospective chart review of 13 neonates with acute renal failure who received aminophylline during a 15-month study period. Aminophylline was administered at 1 mg/kg intravenously or orally every twelve hours. Forty-six percent (n = 6) of the patients received a 5 mg/kg loading dose before initiation of maintenance therapy. Most patients had already received other treatments for renal failure, including diuretics and dopamine.
Resolution of acute renal failure (with normalization of serum creatinine and blood urea nitrogen) was documented in 10 patients (77%). Four of the thirteen patients died from complications due to their prematurity. Failure of low-dose aminophylline was observed in 3 of the 4 patients who died.
Low-dose aminophylline in neonates with acute renal failure is associated with an improvement in renal function indices.
PMCID: PMC3462062  PMID: 23055869
aminophylline; neonates; oliguria; renal failure; theophylline

Results 1-3 (3)