Author(s): Mactier H
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Abstract In the 35 years since low plasma vitamin A levels were first described in premature infants, much effort has gone into attempting to describe the functional consequences of vitamin A deficiency in this population. Supplementation of extremely low birth weight infants with intramuscular (i.m.) vitamin A has a significant but modest beneficial effect upon the development of chronic lung disease (NNT 13), most likely due to reduced production of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Early high dose i.m. vitamin A also improves retinal development and there are limited clinical and laboratory data suggesting a role for vitamin A in prevention of retinopathy of prematurity. Despite evidence of benefit, there is reluctance to give routine i.m. vitamin A in the neonatal intensive care unit, but current intravenous supplementation is almost certainly inadequate. Further work is required to identify the optimal dose and most appropriate route of administration of vitamin A for preterm infants. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Semin Fetal Neonatal Med
and referenced in Journal of Neonatal Biology