Neonatal apnea, xanthines, and necrotizing enterocolitis

Jay L. Grosfeld, Michael C. Dalsing, Meredith Hull, Thomas R. Weber

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


This study evaluates the relationship of xanthinetreatment of premature apnea and NEC in a bowel ischemia model. The superior mesenteric artery was occluded for 1.0 minute in 82 wheanling rats. Group I (n=41) were untreated controls. Group II (n=21) received aminophylline (AMPH) 40 mg/kg I.P., 4 hr and immediately prior to clamping. Animals were evaluated for bowel infarction, perforation, and mortality at 7 days. In 20 additional rats (10 @ group) bowel was evaluated by scanning electron microscopy (EM) at timed intervals (5 and 30 min). Ischemic bowel occurred in 25 of 41 (60%) controls (18 (43%) with necrosis; 7 (17%) with perforations) and 19 of 21 (90%) rats with AMPH (15 (70%) and had necrosis; 4 (19%) perforations). Mortality was 60% (controls) and 90% (AMPH) respectively (p<.05). On EM, AMPH enhanced bacterial overgrowth however actual mucosal damage appeared similar. Following ischemia, AMPH has an adverse effect on the bowel. Use of AMPH in prematures at risk for NEC is questioned.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-84
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1983
Externally publishedYes


  • aminophylline
  • necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Neonatal apnea

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery

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