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J Perinatol. 2010 Dec;30(12):765-9. doi: 10.1038/jp.2010.50. Epub 2010 Apr 22.

Increasing platelets without transfusion: is it time to introduce novel thrombopoietic agents in neonatal care?

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Division of Newborn Medicine, Children's Hospital Boston and Harvard Medical School, 300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


The Food and Drug Administration recently approved two novel thrombopoiesis-stimulating agents, Romiplostim (AMG-531, Nplate) and Eltrombopag (Promacta), for the treatment of adults with immune thrombocytopenic purpura. For physicians taking care of critically ill neonates, this offers the opportunity of decreasing platelet transfusions and potentially improving the outcomes of neonates with severe and prolonged thrombocytopenia. However, several developmental factors need to be taken into consideration. First, the population of thrombocytopenic neonates likely to benefit from these agents needs to be carefully selected. Second, the mechanisms underlying neonatal and adult thrombocytopenia differ from each other and are incompletely understood, and pre-clinical evidence suggests that the response of neonates to thrombopoietic factors might be different from that of adults. Finally, the potential non-hematopoietic effects of thrombopoietin have not been well established. Here, we will discuss these issues in detail, and will highlight the critical developmental differences between neonates and adults that need to be considered as we think about introducing these agents into neonatal care.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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