Vitamin A supplementation in very low birth weight infants
PURPOSE: In United States, the percentage of Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW) born for year 2006 was 0.8% (approximately 32,000 babies) & Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW) 1.48% (1). ELBW babies account for nearly half (49%) of the infant mortality for United States. Very Low birth weight infants are at a significant risk for high mortality and morbidity due to their multi system involvement and predisposition to lung prematurity and impaired immune function. One of the common causes cited is Vitamin A deficiency (2, 3).The purpose of this study is to look at published literature on Vitamin A supplementation in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. ^ RESEARCH DESIGN: Systematic review of literature of published articles meeting the pre-defined criteria. ^ PROCEDURE: Studies included in this review were those which looked at very low birth weight infants defined as birth weight<1500gms. All experimental studies were reviewed. Studies looking at the effect of Vitamin A supplementation in comparison with a placebo or by itself in varying dosing regimens as an intervention were reviewed. Vitamin A deficiency and its manifestations were of interest. We used key words such as "very low birth weight", "mortality", "Vitamin A", "retinol" and "supplementation" in our search. ^ RISKS & POTENTIAL BENEFITS: We do not see any potential risks associated with this study. The potential benefit is recommendation for future studies based on the review of literature available currently. ^ IMPORTANCE OF KNOWLEDGE THAT MAY REASONABLY BE EXPECTED TO RESULT: The systematic review of literature of all experimental studies in VLBW infants showed uniform correlation of parenteral Vitamin A dosing and high plasma concentrations achieved. The recommended dosage for use is 5000 IU 3 times/week given intramuscularly for 4 weeks to prevent CLD. Higher doses have not shown benefit, with a potential for toxicity, while lower doses are inadequate. There is no role of use of Vitamin A in closure of patent ductus arteriosus & reducing mortality. However, it is important to state that the number of studies done so far is limited with small sample sizes. There is a need in the future for experimental studies to ascertain the role of Vitamin A to improve outcomes in VLBW. Atleast, one more RCT should be conducted using the dosage recommended above to make this a standard practice.^
Health Sciences, Medicine and Surgery|Health Sciences, Nutrition|Health Sciences, Epidemiology
"Vitamin A supplementation in very low birth weight infants"
(January 1, 2012).
Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest).