Systematic review seeking erythropoietin role for neuroprotection in neonates with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy: presently where do we stand

J Matern Fetal Neonatal Med. 2018 Dec;31(23):3214-3224. doi: 10.1080/14767058.2017.1366982. Epub 2017 Aug 23.


Background: Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is one of the leading causes of neonatal mortality in developing countries and leads to some form of neuro-developmental disability in latter part of life.

Aims: The aim of this study is to evaluate the role of erythropoietin (EPO) in neuroprotection for term newborn having HIE.

Method: The literature search was done for various trials by searching the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL), PubMed, EMBASE, Web of science, Scopus, Index Copernicus, and other database.

Results: A total of nine studies fulfilled inclusion criteria. EPO has shown to cause reduction in death and disability, better long-term neuro-developmental outcome, improvement in EEG, and reduction in risk of cerebral palsy.

Conclusion: EPO treatment has neuroprotective effects against moderate/severe HIE and improves long-term behavioral neurological developments in neonates.

Keywords: Erythropoietin; hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy; neuro-development.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Asphyxia Neonatorum / complications
  • Asphyxia Neonatorum / therapy
  • Cerebral Palsy / prevention & control
  • Developmental Disabilities / prevention & control
  • Erythropoietin / administration & dosage*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / etiology
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / therapy*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Neuroprotective Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Term Birth
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • Erythropoietin