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Does erythropoietin protect the preterm brain?
  1. T Strunk,
  2. C Härtel,
  3. C Schultz
  1. Department of Paediatrics, University of Lübeck Medical School, Lübeck, Germany
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Schultz
    University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Lübeck, Department of Paediatrics, Ratzeburger Allee 160, 23538 Lübeck, Germany;


There is a high incidence of hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury and intraventricular haemorrhage in newborn infants, particularly those born preterm. Many die during the newborn period or suffer permanent neurodevelopmental handicaps. Hypoxic brain injury develops over several hours and could potentially be influenced by intervention. At present, no drug exists that effectively prevents infant brain injury or ameliorates detrimental neurodevelopmental effects. The hypothesis is put forward that systemic administration of recombinant human erythropoietin positively affects the neurodevelopmental outcome of high risk preterm infants affected by brain injury. A multicentre, randomised, placebo controlled study is proposed to prospectively test this hypothesis.

  • Epo, erythropoietin
  • EpoR, erythropoietin receptor
  • erythropoietin
  • neuroprotection
  • preterm
  • brain

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