Intravenous or enteral loop diuretics for preterm infants with (or developing) chronic lung disease.

L. P. Brion, R. A. Primhak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: Lung disease in preterm infants is often complicated with lung edema. OBJECTIVES: The aim of this review was to assess the risks and benefits of administration of a diuretic acting on the loop of Henle (loop diuretic) in preterm infants with or developing chronic lung disease (CLD). Primary objectives were to assess changes in need for oxygen or ventilatory support and effects on long-term outcome, and secondary objectives were to assess changes in pulmonary mechanics and potential complications of therapy. SEARCH STRATEGY: We used the standard search method of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group. We used the following keywords: [<bronchopulmonary dysplasia> or <chronic lung disease>] and <explode diuretics>, limited to <human> and limited to infant, newborn> or infant>. We searched Medline (1966-1998), Embase (1974-1998) and the Cochrane Controlled Trials Register (CCTR) from the Cochrane Library (1998, issue 4). In addition, we hand searched several abstract books of national and international American and European Societies. SELECTION CRITERIA: We included in this analysis trials in which preterm infants with or developing chronic lung disease and at least 5 days of age were all randomly allocated to receive a loop diuretic either enterally or intravenously. Eligible studies needed to assess at least one of the outcome variables defined a priori for this systematic review. Primary outcome variables included important clinical outcomes, and secondary outcome variables included toxicity and pulmonary mechanics (e.g., lung compliance and airway resistance). DATA COLLECTION AND ANALYSIS: We used the standard method for the Cochrane Collaboration which is described in the Cochrane Collaboration Handbook. Two investigators extracted, assessed and coded separately all data for each study, using a form that was designed specifically for this review. Any disagreement was resolved by discussion. We combined parallel and cross-over trials and, whenever possible, transformed baseline and final outcome data measured on a continuous scale into change scores using Follmann's formula. MAIN RESULTS: The only loop diuretic used in the studies which met the selection criteria was furosemide. Most studies focused on pathophysiological parameters and did not assess effects on important clinical outcomes defined in this review, or the potential complications of diuretic therapy. In preterm infants < 3 weeks of age developing CLD, furosemide administration has either inconsistent effects or no detectable effect. In infants > 3 weeks of age with CLD, a single intravenous dose of 1 mg/kg of furosemide improves lung compliance and airway resistance for 1 hour. Chronic administration of furosemide improves both oxygenation and lung compliance. REVIEWER'S CONCLUSIONS: In preterm infants > 3 weeks of age with CLD, acute and chronic administration of furosemide improve lung compliance. Chronic administration of intravenous or enteral furosemide improves oxygenation. In view of the lack of data from randomized trials concerning effects on important clinical outcomes, routine or sustained use of systemic loop diuretics in infants with (or developing) CLD cannot be recommended based on current evidence. Randomized trials are needed to assess the effects of furosemide administration on survival, duration of ventilatory support and oxygen administration, length of hospital stay, potential complications and long-term outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCochrane database of systematic reviews (Online)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


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