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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 87-90

Beneficial erythropoietic effects of recombinant human erythropoietin in very low-birth weight infants: A single-center randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled trial

1 Department of Neonatology, Hamadan University of Medical Science, Hamadan, Iran
2 Department of Pediatrics, Hamadan University of Medical Science, Hamadan, Iran
3 Department of Social Medicine, Hamadan University of Medical Science, Hamadan, Iran

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Behnaz Basiri
Department of Neonatology, NICU, Hamadan University of Medical Science, Fatemieh Hospital, Hamadan
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/2249-4847.154103

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Purpose: Due to appearing serious a complication following repeated blood products transfusion in premature neonates, beneficial protective effects of recombinant human erythropoietin (rhEpo) is being widely investigated. The present study evaluated the effectiveness of rhEpo in preventing anemia of prematurity by assessment of the changes in serum erythropoiesis parameters in very low birth weight (VLBW) neonates. Materials and Methods: In a single-center randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial, 60 premature infants with birth weight <1500g who were born between 24 and 31 weeks of gestation admitted to the neonatal intensive care unit of Fatemieh Hospital in Hamadan were enrolled. The study medication (rhEpo or placebo) was randomly assigned to each patient. The rhEpo (250 U rhEpo/kg body weight at birth, equal to 1 mL solution/kg birth weight) and placebo drug solutions were indistinguishable. The study drug was administered 3 times weekly for 3 weeks. Results: Monitoring hemoglobin, hematocrit and reticulocyte count showed no relevant deviation from baseline to the 2 nd week of the study. However, there was relevant difference for these parameters between investigated patients who received rhEpo and the patients who received placebo during the 3 rd week of the medication. 16 (53.3%) in the intervention group and 20 (66.7%) in the control group required blood transfusion with an insignificant difference. No serious side-effects were observed in either the rhEpo or placebo group. Conclusion: Our study suggested that rhEpo is an effective drug for improving erythropoiesis parameters after 3 weeks of administration in VLBW infants regardless its effect on the need for blood transfusions.

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