Purpose: This study assessed the efficacy and safety of early vitamin A (VA) supplementation to improve outcomes of retinopathy of prematurity in extremely preterm infants.
Methods: A total of 262 eligible extremely preterm infants underwent randomization; of these, 132 were assigned to the VA group and 130 to the control group. The infants were administered a solution of VA (1,500 IU/day), added to their enteral feeds as soon as minimal feeding was introduced and continued for 28 days or until discharge.
Results: With no adverse effects occurring, serum VA of the VA-supplemented infants on Days 14, 28, and postmenstrual 36 weeks was higher than that of the placebo group (P < 0.001). No signs of VA toxicity or increased intracranial pressure were reported. The VA group had lower unadjusted rates of Type 1 retinopathy of prematurity (1.6 vs. 6.9%, P = 0.030) and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (18.9 vs. 33.8%, P = 0.008) than the control group. Regression analysis revealed an association between serum VA levels and risk of Type 1 retinopathy of prematurity (beta = -2.37).
Conclusion: Vitamin A supplementation reduced VA deficiency in extremely preterm infants; it was associated with a decreased incidence of Type 1 retinopathy of prematurity and may also have a positive impact on reducing bronchopulmonary dysplasia.