[Detection of caffeine, theophylline and theobromine in the umbilical cord blood and breast milk]

Helv Paediatr Acta. 1985 Jul;40(2-3):163-7.
[Article in German]


Twenty-four samples of cord blood chosen at random from premature newborns were analyzed for methylxanthines. At least one methylxanthine could be detected in 20 (83%) samples, and caffeine was present in 17 (71%). In 8 (33%) samples the serum concentration was above 15 mumol/l; above this level an effect on ventilation has been demonstrated. Of 50 samples of human milk, 48 (96%) contained at least one methylxanthine, and in 42 (84%) caffeine could be detected. In treating premature infants with caffeine or theophylline during the first days of life a possible prenatal supply has to be taken into consideration, however, a supply via human milk can be neglected.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Caffeine / blood*
  • Female
  • Fetal Blood / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Premature / blood*
  • Kinetics
  • Maternal-Fetal Exchange*
  • Milk, Human / metabolism*
  • Pregnancy
  • Theobromine / blood*
  • Theophylline / blood*


  • Caffeine
  • Theophylline
  • Theobromine