Vitamin E supplementation for prevention of morbidity and mortality in preterm infants" width="595" />
However, to achieve these effects, higher serum levels of tocopherols are needed than those reached through routinely recommended oral doses of vitamin E. This underlined the need to evaluate higher doses of vitamin E supplementation to eliminate or reduce the risk of conditions such as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Randomized controlled trials evaluating the efficacy of such high-dose supplementation have not been uniformly encouraging.
On the other hand, there have been reports of serious toxicity following megavitamin E supplements in preterm infants. The primary objective of this Cochrane review was to evaluate the spectrum of benefits and risks of vitamin E supplementation in preterm infants.
Trials that randomized preterm infants or those with a birth weight < 2500 g to supplementation with vitamin E (intervention) or placebo/no treatment were eligible for inclusion in the review.
Studies were included regardless of the vitamin E content of the infant’s feedings (human or formula milk) or the route of vitamin E supplementation (parenteral or oral).
The reviewers excluded studies in which vitamin E had been provided as a co-intervention.
The primary outcome measures included mortality until discharge from hospital, combined outcome at 18 months including mortality (bronchopulmonary dysplasia, blindness, mental retardation or cerebral palsy, and mortality), and combined outcome at 18 months excluding mortality.
The major secondary outcomes were sepsis, severe intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) (grade III or IV), severe ROP, necrotizing enterocolitis with gastrointestinal perforation, signs of hemolysis, and local reaction at the injection site. (UNI)