Aim: To determine the relationship between early postnatal dexamethasone (DXM) treatment and the severity of hyperbilirubinemia in extreme low birth weight (ELBW) preterm infants.
Methods: In 54 ELBW preterm infants, total serum bilirubin concentrations (TSB) and phototherapy (PT) data during the first 10 days were evaluated retrospectively. ELBW infants had participated in a randomized controlled trial of early DXM treatment which aimed to assess effects on chronic lung disease. Infants had been treated with DXM (0.25 mg/kg twice daily at postnatal day 1 and 2) or with placebo (normal saline). Analysis was performed on an intention to treat basis.
Results: Twenty-five Infants had been randomized into the DXM group; 29 into the placebo group. Mean (+/- SD) TSB [120 (+/- 19) mu mol/L vs. 123 (+/- 28) mu mol/L, DXM versus placebo, respectively] and maximum TSB [178 (+/- 23) mu mol/L vs. 176 (+/- 48), DXM versus placebo, respectively] concentrations were similar. TSB concentrations peaked 30 h earlier in the DXM group (p
Conclusions: Early DXM treatment does not affect the severity of neonatal hyperbilirubinemia in ELBW preterm infants. Our results seem compatible with the concept that factors other than bilirubin conjugation capacity are important for the pathophysiology of neonatal jaundice in ELBW preterm infants.
- ELBW preterm infants
- Unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia
- EARLY POSTNATAL DEXAMETHASONE
- NEONATAL JAUNDICE