Objective: To determine if early caffeine (EC) therapy is associated with decreased bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) or death, decreased treatment of patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), or shortened duration of ventilation.
Study design: In a retrospective cohort of 140 neonates ≤1250 g at birth, infants receiving EC (initiation <3 days of life) were compared with those receiving late caffeine (LC, initiation ≥3 days of life) using logistic regression.
Result: Of infants receiving EC, 25% (21/83) died or developed BPD compared with 53% (30/57) of infants receiving LC (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 0.26, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.09 to 0.70; P<0.01). PDA required treatment in 10% of EC infants versus 36% of LC infants (aOR 0.28, 95%CI 0.10 to 0.73; P=0.01). Duration of mechanical ventilation was shorter in infants receiving EC (EC, 6 days; LC, 22 days; P<0.01).
Conclusion: Infants receiving EC therapy had improved neonatal outcomes. Further studies are needed to determine if caffeine prophylaxis should be recommended for preterm infants.