Erythropoietin for the Repair of Cerebral Injury in Very Preterm Infants (EpoRepair)

Neonatology. 2015;108(3):198-204. doi: 10.1159/000437248. Epub 2015 Aug 8.


Background: Preterm infants suffering from intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) are at increased risk for neurodevelopmental impairment. Observational data suggest that recombinant human erythropoietin (rEPO) improves long-term cognitive outcome in infants with IVH. Recent studies revealed a beneficial effect of early high-dose rEPO on white matter development in preterm infants determined by magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Objectives: To summarize the current evidence and to delineate the study protocol of the EpoRepair trial (Erythropoietin for the Repair of Cerebral Injury in Very Preterm Infants).

Methods: The study involves a review of the literature and the design of a double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial of repetitive high-dose rEPO administration, enrolling 120 very preterm infants with moderate-to-severe IVH diagnosed by cranial ultrasound in the first days of life, qualitative and quantitative MRI at term-equivalent age and long-term neurodevelopmental follow-up until 5 years of age.

Results and conclusions: The hypothesis generated by observational data that rEPO may improve long-term cognitive outcomes of preterm infants suffering from IVH are to be confirmed or refuted by the randomized controlled trial, EpoRepair.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Hemorrhage, Traumatic / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Epoetin Alfa / therapeutic use*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Patient Selection
  • White Matter / drug effects*


  • Epoetin Alfa