Effect of single loading dose of intravenous caffeine infusion on superior mesenteric artery blood flow velocities in preterm infants

J Paediatr Child Health. 2008 Mar;44(3):119-21. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2007.01211.x. Epub 2007 Sep 14.


Aim: To evaluate the effects of a single loading dose of caffeine base (10 mg/kg) on superior mesenteric artery (SMA) blood flow velocities (BFV).

Methods: Eighteen preterm infants of gestational age <or=32 weeks gestation were investigated prospectively. SMA BFV before infusion, 1 h, 2 h and 6 h after a single loading dose of caffeine were measured using Doppler ultrasonography.

Results: The peak systolic velocity in SMA decreased by 18% from baseline at 1 h after caffeine infusion and improved towards the baseline by 6 h after the infusion. The reduction in velocity after caffeine infusion was not statistically significant. No significant changes were observed in heart rate, blood pressure and incidence of necrotising enterocolitis.

Conclusion: A single 10 mg/kg intravenous loading dose of caffeine does not cause a significant reduction in SMA BFV and therefore does not place the preterm intestine at increased risk of ischemic injury.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Alberta
  • Blood Flow Velocity / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature / physiology*
  • Infusions, Intravenous
  • Intensive Care Units, Neonatal
  • Mesenteric Artery, Superior / diagnostic imaging
  • Mesenteric Artery, Superior / drug effects*
  • Ultrasonography


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Caffeine