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Jornal de Pediatria
Print version ISSN 0021-7557
HENTGES, Cláudia Regina; GUEDES, Renata Rostirola; SILVEIRA, Rita C. and PROCIANOY, Renato S.. Serum levels of caffeine in umbilical cord and apnea of prematurity. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2010, vol.86, n.2, pp. 137-142. ISSN 0021-7557. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572010000200010.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the influence of presence of caffeine in umbilical cord blood on apnea occurrence. METHODS: A prospective cohort study with preterm newborns with birth weight lower than 2,000 g was undertaken. Exclusion criteria were: mothers who received opioids; mechanical ventilation during the first 4 days of life; cerebral and major cardiac malformations; perinatal asphyxia; severe periintraventricular hemorrhage; exchange transfusion before the fourth day of life; and those who received methylxantine prior to extubation. Neonates were divided into detectable and undetectable caffeine in umbilical cord blood. Newborns were followed for the first 4 days for occurrence of apnea spells. RESULTS: Eighty-seven newborns with and 40 without detectable caffeine in umbilical cord blood were studied. Median caffeine concentration of the 87 patients with detectable caffeine in umbilical blood was 2.3 µg/mL (0.2-9.4 µg/mL). There was no association between occurrence of apnea spells and presence of caffeine in umbilical cord blood. Neonates with detectable caffeine in umbilical blood had borderline later apnea (66.3±4.14 hours) than those with undetectable levels (54.2±6.26 hours). CONCLUSION: Detected levels of caffeine in umbilical cord blood did not decrease occurrence of apnea of prematurity, but it had a borderline effect delaying its occurrence, suggesting that even a low level of caffeine in umbilical cord blood might delay occurrence of apnea spells.
Keywords : Prematurity; apnea; caffeine; low-birth-weight infant.