Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Early postnatal allopurinol does not improve short term outcome after severe birth asphyxia
  1. M J N L Benders1,
  2. A F Bos3,
  3. C M A Rademaker2,
  4. M Rijken4,
  5. H L Torrance1,
  6. F Groenendaal1,
  7. F van Bel1
  1. 1Department of Neonatology, Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital/University Medical Center, Utrecht, the Netherlands
  2. 2Department of Pharmacy, Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital/University Medical Center, Utrecht
  3. 3Department of Neonatology, University Medical Center, Groningen, the Netherlands
  4. 4Department of Neonatology, Leiden University Medical Center, the Netherlands
  1. Correspondence to:
    Dr Benders
    Department of Neonatology, Wilhelmina Children’s Hospital, University Medical Center KE 4.123.1, PO Box 85090, 3508 AB Utrecht, the Netherlands; m.benders{at}


Objective: To investigate whether postnatal allopurinol would reduce free radical induced reperfusion/reoxygenation injury of the brain in severely asphyxiated neonates.

Method: In an interim analysis of a randomised, double blind, placebo controlled study, 32 severely asphyxiated infants were given allopurinol or a vehicle within four hours of birth.

Results: The analysis showed an unaltered (high) mortality and morbidity in the infants treated with allopurinol.

Conclusion: Allopurinol treatment started postnatally was too late to reduce the early reperfusion induced free radical surge. Allopurinol administration to the fetus with (imminent) hypoxia via the mother during labour may be more effective in reducing free radical induced post-asphyxial brain damage.

  • aEEG, amplitude integrated electroencephalogram
  • MRI, magnetic resonance imaging
  • allopurinol
  • neuroprotection
  • reperfusion injury
  • birth asphyxia

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • Published Online First 20 January 2006

  • Competing interests: none declared

Linked Articles

  • Fantoms
    Ben Stenson