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1.  Long-term outcome in relationship to neonatal transfusion volume in extremely premature infants: a comparative cohort study 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:48.
In premature born infants red blood cell (RBC) transfusions have been associated with both beneficial and detrimental sequels. Upon RBC transfusion, improvement in cerebral blood flow and oxygenation have been observed, while a more liberal transfusion policy may be associated with a better developmental outcome. The effect of the transfusion volume on long-term outcome is not known.
Observational follow-up study of a cohort of extremely premature born infants, treated in 2 neonatal intensive care units using a different transfusion volume (15 ml/kg in Unit A and 20 ml/kg in Unit B). The primary outcome was a composite of post discharge mortality, neuromotor developmental delay, blindness or deafness, evaluated at a mean corrected age (CA) of 24 months related to the transfusion volume/kg bodyweight administered during the postnatal hospital stay.
Despite the difference in transfusion volume in clinically comparable groups of infants, they received a similar number of transfusions (5.5 ± 3.2 versus 5.5 ± 2.3 respectively in Unit A and B). The total transfused volume in unit A was 79 ± 47 ml/kg and 108 ± 47 ml/kg in unit B (p = 0.02). Total transfused RBC volume per kg bodyweight was not an independent predictor of the composite outcome (p = 0.96, OR 1.0 (CI 0.9-1.1).
There was no relationship between the composite outcome at 24 months CA and transfusion volume received during the post natal hospital stay. As there was no clinical advantage of the higher transfusion volume, a more restrictive volume will reduce total transfusion volume and donor exposure. Future research on the optimal transfusion volume per event to extreme preterm infants should include larger, prospective studies with a longer follow-up period through to childhood or even adolescence.
PMCID: PMC3119036  PMID: 21619675
2.  Thrombocytopenia in neonates and the risk of intraventricular hemorrhage: a retrospective cohort study 
BMC Pediatrics  2011;11:16.
The overall prevalence of thrombocytopenia in neonates admitted to neonatal intensive care units ranges from 22 to 35%. There are only a few small studies that outline the relationship between the severity of thrombocytopenia and the risk of bleeding. This makes it difficult to form an evidence-based threshold for platelet transfusions in neonatal patients. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of thrombocytopenia in a tertiary neonatal intensive care unit and to study the relation between thrombocytopenia and the risk of intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH).
We performed a retrospective cohort study of all patients with thrombocytopenia admitted to our neonatal tertiary care nursery between January 2006 and December 2008. Patients were divided into 4 groups according to the severity of thrombocytopenia: mild (100-149 × 109/L), moderate (50-99 × 109/L), severe (30-49 × 109/L) or very severe (< 30 × 109/L). The primary outcome was IVH ≥ grade 2. Pearson's chi-squared and Fischer's exact tests were used for categorical data. ANOVA, logistic regression analysis and multivariate linear regression were used for comparisons between groups and for confounding factors.
The prevalence of thrombocytopenia was 27% (422/1569). Risk of IVH ≥ grade 2 was 12% (48/411) in neonates with versus 5% (40/844) in neonates without thrombocytopenia (p < 0.01). After multivariate linear regression analysis, risk of IVH ≥ grade 2 in the subgroups of thrombocytopenic infants was not significantly different (p = 0.3).
After logistic regression analysis the difference in mortality rate in neonates with and without thrombocytopenia was not significant (p = 0.4). Similarly, we found no difference in mortality rate in the subgroups of neonates with thrombocytopenia (p = 0.7).
Although IVH ≥ grade 2 occurs more often in neonates with thrombocytopenia, this relation is independent of the severity of thrombocytopenia. Prospective studies should be conducted to assess the true risk of hemorrhage depending on underlying conditions. Randomized controlled trials are urgently needed to determine a safe lower threshold for platelet transfusions.
PMCID: PMC3045959  PMID: 21314921
3.  Use of rifampin in persistent coagulase negative staphylococcal bacteremia in neonates 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:84.
Coagulase negative staphylococci (CoNS) are the most common cause of neonatal sepsis in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). A minority of neonates does not respond to vancomycin therapy and develops persistent bacteremia, which may be treated with rifampin. We evaluated the use of rifampin in persistent CoNS bacteremia.
Retrospective study of 137 neonates with CoNS bacteremia during admission to a tertiary NICU between July 2006 and July 2009. Main outcome measures were total duration of bacteremia and the adequacy of vancomycin and rifampin therapy.
137/1696 (8.0%) neonates developed a CoNS bacteremia. Eighteen were treated with rifampin because of persistent bacteremia (3 positive blood cultures at least 48 hours apart with clinical symptoms) or (a serious suspicion of) an intravascular thrombus. Duration of bacteremia prior to rifampin therapy (8.0 ± 3.6 days) was positively correlated (p < 0.001) to the total duration of bacteremia (10.3 ± 3.7 days). After starting rifampin therapy C-reactive protein (CRP) levels of all neonates declined and blood cultures became sterile after 2.3 ± 1.6 days. Vancomycin levels were not consistently measured in all neonates, resulting in late detection of subtherapeutic trough levels.
Rifampin may be effective in the treatment of persistent CoNS infections in neonates. Outcome may be improved by adequate monitoring of vancomycin trough levels.
PMCID: PMC2994847  PMID: 21092087
4.  Short and long term outcome of neonatal hyperglycemia in very preterm infants: a retrospective follow-up study 
BMC Pediatrics  2010;10:52.
Hyperglycemia in premature infants is associated with increased morbidity and mortality, but data on long-term outcome are limited. We investigated the effects of neonatal hyperglycemia (blood glucose ≥ 10 mmol/l, treated with insulin for ≥ 12 hours) on growth and neurobehavioral outcome at 2 years of age.
Retrospective follow-up study at 2 years of age among 859 infants ≤32 weeks of gestation admitted to a tertiary neonatal center between January 2002 and December 2006. Thirty-three survivors treated with insulin for hyperglycemia and 63 matched controls without hyperglycemia were evaluated at a corrected age of 2 years. Outcome measures consisted of growth (weight, length, and head circumference) and neurological and behavioural development.
66/859 (8%) infants ≤ 32 weeks of gestation developed hyperglycemia. Mortality during admission was 27/66 (41%) in the hyperglycemia group versus 62/793 (8%) in those without hyperglycemia (p < 0.001). Mortality was higher in infants with hyperglycemia with a birth weight ≤1,000 gram (p = 0.005) and/or gestational age of 24-28 weeks (p = 0.009) than in control infants without hyperglycemia. Sepsis was more prominent in infants with hyperglycemia and a birth weight of >1,000 gram (p = 0.002) and/or gestational age of 29-32 weeks (p = 0.009) than in control infants without hyperglycemia. Growth at 2 years of age was similar, but neurological and behavioural development was more frequently abnormal among those with neonatal hyperglycemia (p = 0.036 and 0.021 respectively).
Mortality was higher in very preterm infants with hyperglycemia treated with insulin during the neonatal period. At 2 years of age survivors showed normal growth, but a higher incidence of neurological and behavioural problems. Better strategies to manage hyperglycemia may improve outcome of very preterm infants.
PMCID: PMC2915976  PMID: 20646308

Results 1-4 (4)