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Pediatrics. 2013 Dec;132(6):e1626-33. doi: 10.1542/peds.2013-1684. Epub 2013 Nov 11.

Serum tocopherol levels in very preterm infants after a single dose of vitamin E at birth.

Author information

1
Department of Pediatrics, University of Iowa, 200 Hawkins Dr, Iowa City, IA 52242. edward-bell@uiowa.edu.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Our aim was to examine the impact of a single enteral dose of vitamin E on serum tocopherol levels. The study was undertaken to see whether a single dose of vitamin E soon after birth can rapidly increase the low α-tocopherol levels seen in very preterm infants. If so, this intervention could be tested as a means of reducing the risk of intracranial hemorrhage.

METHODS:

Ninety-three infants <27 weeks' gestation and <1000 g were randomly assigned to receive a single dose of vitamin E or placebo by gastric tube within 4 hours of birth. The vitamin E group received 50 IU/kg of vitamin E as dl-α-tocopheryl acetate (Aquasol E). The placebo group received sterile water. Blood samples were taken for measurement of serum tocopherol levels by high-performance liquid chromatography before dosing and 24 hours and 7 days after dosing.

RESULTS:

Eighty-eight infants received the study drug and were included in the analyses. The α-tocopherol levels were similar between the groups at baseline but higher in the vitamin E group at 24 hours (median 0.63 mg/dL vs. 0.42 mg/dL, P = .003) and 7 days (2.21 mg/dL vs 1.86 mg/dL, P = .04). There were no differences between groups in γ-tocopherol levels. At 24 hours, 30% of vitamin E infants and 62% of placebo infants had α-tocopherol levels <0.5 mg/dL.

CONCLUSIONS:

A 50-IU/kg dose of vitamin E raised serum α-tocopherol levels, but to consistently achieve α-tocopherol levels >0.5 mg/dL, a higher dose or several doses of vitamin E may be needed.

TRIAL REGISTRATION:

ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01193270.

KEYWORDS:

preterm infants; vitamin E

PMID:
24218460
PMCID:
PMC3838534
DOI:
10.1542/peds.2013-1684
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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