Objective: To evaluate vasopressin vs dopamine as initial therapy in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants with hypotension during the first 24 hours of life.
Study design: ELBW infants with hypertension ≤ 30 weeks' gestation and ≤ 24 hours old randomly received treatment with vasopressin or dopamine in a blinded fashion. Normotensive infants not receiving vasopressor support served as a comparison group.
Results: Twenty ELBW infants with hypertension received vasopressin (n = 10) or dopamine (n = 10), and 50 were enrolled for comparison. Mean gestational age was 25.6 ± 1.4 weeks and birth weight 705 ± 154 g. Response to vasopressin paralleled that of dopamine in time to adequate mean blood pressure (Kaplan-Meier curve, P = .986); 90% of infants in each treatment group responded with adequate blood pressure. The vasopressin group received fewer doses of surfactant (P < .05), had lower PaCO2 values (P < .05), and were not tachycardic (P < .001) during vasopressin administration, compared with the dopamine group.
Conclusions: Vasopressin in ELBW infants as the initial agent for early hypotension appeared safe. This pilot study supports a larger randomized controlled trial of vasopressin vs dopamine therapy in ELBW infants with hypotension.
Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01318278.
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.