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N Engl J Med ; 387(2): 148-159, 2022 07 14.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1931553


BACKGROUND: Neonatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is an important cause of death as well as long-term disability in survivors. Erythropoietin has been hypothesized to have neuroprotective effects in infants with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, but its effects on neurodevelopmental outcomes when given in conjunction with therapeutic hypothermia are unknown. METHODS: In a multicenter, double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled trial, we assigned 501 infants born at 36 weeks or more of gestation with moderate or severe hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy to receive erythropoietin or placebo, in conjunction with standard therapeutic hypothermia. Erythropoietin (1000 U per kilogram of body weight) or saline placebo was administered intravenously within 26 hours after birth, as well as at 2, 3, 4, and 7 days of age. The primary outcome was death or neurodevelopmental impairment at 22 to 36 months of age. Neurodevelopmental impairment was defined as cerebral palsy, a Gross Motor Function Classification System level of at least 1 (on a scale of 0 [normal] to 5 [most impaired]), or a cognitive score of less than 90 (which corresponds to 0.67 SD below the mean, with higher scores indicating better performance) on the Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development, third edition. RESULTS: Of 500 infants in the modified intention-to-treat analysis, 257 received erythropoietin and 243 received placebo. The incidence of death or neurodevelopmental impairment was 52.5% in the erythropoietin group and 49.5% in the placebo group (relative risk, 1.03; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.86 to 1.24; P = 0.74). The mean number of serious adverse events per child was higher in the erythropoietin group than in the placebo group (0.86 vs. 0.67; relative risk, 1.26; 95% CI, 1.01 to 1.57). CONCLUSIONS: The administration of erythropoietin to newborns undergoing therapeutic hypothermia for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy did not result in a lower risk of death or neurodevelopmental impairment than placebo and was associated with a higher rate of serious adverse events. (Funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; number, NCT02811263.).

Erythropoietin , Hypothermia, Induced , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain , Neuroprotective Agents , Administration, Intravenous , Cerebral Palsy/etiology , Double-Blind Method , Erythropoietin/administration & dosage , Erythropoietin/adverse effects , Erythropoietin/therapeutic use , Humans , Hypothermia, Induced/methods , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain/complications , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain/drug therapy , Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain/therapy , Infant , Infant, Newborn , Neuroprotective Agents/administration & dosage , Neuroprotective Agents/adverse effects , Neuroprotective Agents/therapeutic use
Front Pediatr ; 9: 647880, 2021.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1332132


Objective: To evaluate if the number of admitted extremely preterm (EP) infants (born before 28 weeks of gestational age) differed in the neonatal intensive care units (NICUs) of the SafeBoosC-III consortium during the global lockdown when compared to the corresponding time period in 2019. Design: This is a retrospective, observational study. Forty-six out of 79 NICUs (58%) from 17 countries participated. Principal investigators were asked to report the following information: (1) Total number of EP infant admissions to their NICU in the 3 months where the lockdown restrictions were most rigorous during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic, (2) Similar EP infant admissions in the corresponding 3 months of 2019, (3) the level of local restrictions during the lockdown period, and (4) the local impact of the COVID-19 lockdown on the everyday life of a pregnant woman. Results: The number of EP infant admissions during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic was 428 compared to 457 in the corresponding 3 months in 2019 (-6.6%, 95% CI -18.2 to +7.1%, p = 0.33). There were no statistically significant differences within individual geographic regions and no significant association between the level of lockdown restrictions and difference in the number of EP infant admissions. A post-hoc analysis based on data from the 46 NICUs found a decrease of 10.3%in the total number of NICU admissions (n = 7,499 in 2020 vs. n = 8,362 in 2019). Conclusion: This ad hoc study did not confirm previous reports of a major reduction in the number of extremely pretermbirths during the first phase of the COVID-19 pandemic. Clinical Trial Registration:, identifier: NCT04527601 (registered August 26, 2020),