The current role of colony-stimulating factors in prevention and treatment of neonatal sepsis

Semin Neonatol. 2002 Aug;7(4):335-49. doi: 10.1016/s1084-2756(02)90116-8.


Objectives: To review the role of colony-stimulating factors as adjuncts in the therapy of neonatal sepsis.

Data summary: Data provided by animal experiments and in vitro experiments in human neonates demonstrate the inability of newborn infants to significantly upregulate colony-stimulating factor expression during infectious challenge. In a few clinical trials, exogenous administration of colony-stimulating factors has been associated with reduced neonatal morbidity and mortality. However, reviewing the existing data on colony-stimulating factor administration in neonates, evidence for efficacy and benefit of these adjuncts in treating neonatal sepsis still appears to be poor.

Conclusion: Further randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trials, particularly for the subgroups of premature infants or infants with neutropenia, are urgently warranted before routine application of these cytokines can be recommended.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colony-Stimulating Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / biosynthesis
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor / therapeutic use
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / biosynthesis
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Neutrophils / physiology
  • Sepsis / mortality
  • Sepsis / prevention & control
  • Sepsis / therapy*
  • Systemic Inflammatory Response Syndrome / therapy


  • Colony-Stimulating Factors
  • Granulocyte Colony-Stimulating Factor
  • Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor