Effects of theophylline on the pattern of spontaneous breathing in preterm infants less than 1000 g of birth weight

M. Von Poblotzki, E. Rieger-Fackeldey, A. Schulze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Proportional assist ventilation (PAV) amplifies the ventilatory effect of the spontaneous respiratory effort and therefore allows analysis of drug-induced changes in the spontaneous breathing pattern of subjects who depend on mechanical ventilatory assistance. We hypothesized that theophylline will reduce the number and duration of respiratory pauses and apneic events in infants less than 1000 g of birth weight on PAV. Twelve infants were studied: median birth weight was 773 g; gestational age 26.0 weeks and postnatal age 9 days. Measurements were obtained over a 2-h period before and after 5 mg/kg of intravenous theophylline. A respiratory pause was defined as cessation of breathing for at least the duration of three preceeding breaths. The total number of respiratory pauses and the number of apneas followed by either cardiac slowing (decrease in heart rate more than 10%) or bradycardia decreased significantly. Minute ventilation increased due to a rise in tidal volume from 5.6±1.3 to 6.1±1.2 ml/kg (p=0.004). The duration of respiratory pauses, the respiratory rate, and the number of apneas followed by desaturation did not change significantly. We conclude that theophylline stimulates spontaneous breathing in infants less than 1000 g, reduces the number of apneas, and increases minute volume by increasing the tidal volumes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-55
Number of pages9
JournalEarly Human Development
Volume72
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2003
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Apnea
  • Infant
  • Low birth weight infants
  • Newborn
  • Proportional assist ventilation
  • Theophylline

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