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Vitamin E for Extremely Preterm Infants

This study has been completed.
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
NICHD Neonatal Research Network Identifier:
First received: August 31, 2010
Last updated: November 10, 2015
Last verified: November 2015
The purpose of this pilot trial is to test the safety and efficacy of administering one dose of vitamin E, via a tube into the stomach, to extremely preterm infants (less than 27 weeks gestation and less than 1000 grams birth weight). This pilot will examine whether a single dose of vitamin E will be absorbed into the infants' bloodstreams with resulting serum α-tocopherol level in the target range of 1-3 mg/dl.

Condition Intervention Phase
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Small for Gestational Age
Infant, Very Low Birth Weight
Infant, Premature
Intracranial Hemorrhages
Drug: Vitamin E
Drug: Placebo
Phase 1

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Single-Dose Vitamin E for Prevention of Mortality and Morbidity in Extremely Preterm Infants: Pilot Study

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by NICHD Neonatal Research Network:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Serum tocopherol levels [ Time Frame: Birth to 7 days ]
    Blood samples will be tested for tocopherol levels at baseline, 24 hours, and 7 days.

Enrollment: 93
Study Start Date: October 2010
Study Completion Date: August 2011
Primary Completion Date: August 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Experimental: Vitamin E
A single intragastric dose of dl-α-tocopheryl acetate (Aquasol E®) 50 IU/kg.
Drug: Vitamin E
A single intragastric dose of dl-α-tocopheryl acetate 50 IU/kg.
Other Name: Aquasol E®
Placebo Comparator: Placebo
Sterile water in volume equal to that of the comparator drug.
Drug: Placebo
Sterile water in volume equal to that of the comparator drug

Detailed Description:

Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) -- bleeding into the brain's ventricular system -- is one of the most common complications of prematurity, affecting an estimated 10-40% of very low birth weight (<1500 g) infants born at less than 35 weeks of gestation. Mortality from severe (high-grade) IVH is 27-50%. Severe IVH can result in developmental delays and life-long neurological deficits, including cerebral palsy and seizures.

A number of strategies have been used in efforts to prevent IVH, including: antenatal corticosteroids, maternal vitamin K, delayed clamping of the umbilical cord, indomethacin, ethamsylate, inositol, and muscle paralysis. With the exception of antenatal corticosteroids and indomethacin, these measures have met with only limited success. Supplemental vitamin E, given in the first few hours of life to all premature infants, offers a promising low-risk approach to preventing and/or lessening the severity of IVH.

This safety and efficacy pilot trial will examine whether one dose of vitamin E (dl-α-tocopheryl acetate), given intragastrically to preterm infants <27 weeks gestation and <1000 grams birth weight, will produce blood serum α-tocopherol levels in the target range of 1-3 mg/dl. Based on the results of this pilot, a Phase III randomized control trial will be developed to test whether a single dose of vitamin E can reduce the incidence of death or neurodevelopmental impairment at 18-22 months corrected age in these preterm infants.

Most intraventricular hemorrhages occur in the first 72 hours after birth. Because of this, to prevent IVH, it must be given as soon as possible after birth. Eligible, consented infants will be assigned to either a vitamin E group or a placebo group. Infants in the vitamin E group will receive 1.0 ml/kg of dl-α-tocopheryl acetate (Aquasol E®); infants in the placebo control group will receive a similar amount of sterile water. The dose will be given within 4 hours of birth via a tube into the stomach. Blood samples will be taken from all infants before the dose is given, 24 hours after dosing, and 7 days after dosing to measure how well the vitamin E is absorbed into the bloodstream.


Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 4 Hours   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Less than 27 completed weeks gestational age
  • Birth weight less than 1,000 grams
  • Inborn infants

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Infant's treatment will be limited based on poor prognosis
  • Umbilical cord or blood pH below 7.0
  • Antenatally diagnosed brain abnormality, including hemorrhage
  • Major congenital malformations, including those for which feeding is contraindicated
  • Mother of infant enrolled in a clinical trial of vitamin E supplementation
  • Mother of infant reports self administration of monovitamin supplements of vitamin E during pregnancy or labor
  • Infant has received supplemental vitamin E (except multivitamin additive in parenteral nutrition or through enteral milk or formula feeds)
  • Greater than four hours of age
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01193270

United States, Alabama
University of Alabama at Birmingham
Birmingham, Alabama, United States, 35233
United States, California
Stanford University
Palo Alto, California, United States, 94304
United States, Connecticut
Yale University
New Haven, Connecticut, United States, 06504
United States, Georgia
Emory University
Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 30303
United States, Indiana
Indiana University
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 46202
United States, Iowa
University of Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa, United States, 52242
United States, Massachusetts
Tufts Medical Center
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02111
United States, Michigan
Wayne State University
Detroit, Michigan, United States, 48201
United States, New Mexico
University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States, 87131
United States, North Carolina
RTI International
Durham, North Carolina, United States, 27705
Duke University
Durham, North Carolina, United States, 27710
United States, Ohio
Case Western Reserve University, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital
Cleveland, Ohio, United States, 44106
United States, Rhode Island
Brown University, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island
Providence, Rhode Island, United States, 02905
United States, Texas
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Dallas, Texas, United States, 75235
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Houston, Texas, United States, 77030
United States, Utah
University of Utah
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, 84108
Sponsors and Collaborators
NICHD Neonatal Research Network
National Center for Research Resources (NCRR)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Principal Investigator: Abbot R. Laptook, MD Brown University, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island
Principal Investigator: Michele C. Walsh, MD MS Case Western Reserve University, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital
Principal Investigator: Ronald N. Goldberg, MD Duke University
Principal Investigator: Barbara J. Stoll, MD Emory University
Principal Investigator: Brenda B. Poindexter, MD MS Indiana University
Principal Investigator: Abhik Das, PhD RTI International
Principal Investigator: Krisa P. Van Meurs, MD Stanford University
Principal Investigator: Ivan D. Frantz, III, MD Tufts Medical Center
Principal Investigator: Waldemar A. Carlo, MD University of Alabama at Birmingham
Study Chair: Edward F. Bell, MD University of Iowa
Principal Investigator: Kristi L. Watterberg, MD University of New Mexico
Principal Investigator: Pablo J. Sanchez, MD University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Principal Investigator: Kathleen A. Kennedy, MD MPH The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
Principal Investigator: Roger G. Faix, MD University of Utah
Principal Investigator: Seetha Shankaran, MD Wayne State University
Principal Investigator: Richard A. Ehrenkranz, MD Yale University
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: NICHD Neonatal Research Network Identifier: NCT01193270     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: NICHD-NRN-0044  U10HD021364  U10HD021373  U10HD021385  U10HD027851  U10HD027856  U10HD027871  U10HD027880  U10HD027904  U10HD034216  U10HD036790  U10HD040492  U10HD040689  U10HD053089  U10HD053109  U10HD053119  U10HD053124  UL1RR024139  UL1RR024979  UL1RR025744  UL1RR025008  UL1RR025761  UL1RR025764 
Study First Received: August 31, 2010
Last Updated: November 10, 2015

Keywords provided by NICHD Neonatal Research Network:
NICHD Neonatal Research Network
Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH)
Very Low Birth Weight (VLBW)
Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW)

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Birth Weight
Intracranial Hemorrhages
Pathologic Processes
Body Weight
Signs and Symptoms
Cerebrovascular Disorders
Brain Diseases
Central Nervous System Diseases
Nervous System Diseases
Vascular Diseases
Cardiovascular Diseases
Vitamin E
Growth Substances
Physiological Effects of Drugs
Molecular Mechanisms of Pharmacological Action
Protective Agents processed this record on February 24, 2017