Antepartum vitamin K and phenobarbital for preventing intraventricular hemorrhage in the premature newborn: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial

Obstet Gynecol. 1994 Jan;83(1):70-6.


Objective: To determine whether antepartum phenobarbital and vitamin K reduce the risk of intraventricular hemorrhage in premature newborns.

Methods: Patients at imminent risk for spontaneous or indicated premature delivery between 24-34 weeks' gestation were randomized to receive either placebo or vitamin K and phenobarbital. All patients received betamethasone and antibiotics and were managed uniformly by a single perinatal group in one hospital. All newborns were managed uniformly in the same facility by a single neonatal group.

Results: There was a nonsignificant reduction in all grades of intraventricular hemorrhage in the treatment group when compared to the placebo group (48.2 versus 38.3%; P > .05). Frequencies were reduced for severe intraventricular hemorrhage (grades 3 and 4) (6.0 versus 2.5%; P > .05) and mild intraventricular hemorrhage (grades 1 and 2) (42.2 versus 35.8%; P > .05).

Conclusions: Antepartum phenobarbital and vitamin K effected a nonsignificant reduction in both mild and severe intraventricular hemorrhage. The incidence of severe intraventricular hemorrhage in our control group was significantly less than that observed in previous studies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / epidemiology
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / prevention & control*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / blood
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / epidemiology
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Phenobarbital / therapeutic use*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Care / methods*
  • Vitamin K / therapeutic use*


  • Vitamin K
  • Phenobarbital