Evaluating an Association between Ampicillin and Intraventricular Hemorrhage in Preterm Infants

Neuropediatrics. 2016 Aug;47(4):221-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0036-1583182. Epub 2016 Apr 25.


Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is a common and potentially devastating adverse outcome affecting up to 30% of preterm infants. β-Lactam antibiotics affect platelet activation through interaction with platelet surface receptors. The objective of this study was to evaluate an association between ampicillin use and the development of IVH in preterm infants. This was a single-center and a retrospective case-control study of preterm low-birth-weight infants diagnosed with IVH and matched controls without IVH. Conditional logistic regression was performed on 10 clinical features from the first week of life to evaluate the association with IVH. Data were obtained for 174 subjects with no significant differences between groups in demographic factors and level of illness indicators. Earlier administration of the first dose of ampicillin was associated with increased odds of developing IVH (odds ratio [OR]: 0.95, p = 0.028) when controlling for other common associations. Longer courses of ampicillin were not significantly associated with the development of IVH (OR: 1.13, p = 0.089). The odds of developing IVH in our population increased with earlier, but not longer initial courses of ampicillin. Further research into the associations with IVH should include the assessment of ampicillin dose, timing, and duration.

MeSH terms

  • Ampicillin / therapeutic use*
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / epidemiology*
  • Cerebral Ventricles*
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Humans
  • Infant, Extremely Premature
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Ampicillin