The efficacy of theophylline in preventing severe apnea was evaluated in 17 low birthweight infants (mean weight, 1,400 gm). Apnea was detected and accurately quantified by 13 hour pneumogram recordings and correlated with serum theophylline levels. Nursing observations coupled with on line alarm systems detected only 39% of severe apneic episodes as compared to the pneumogram recording technique. Theophylline in six hourly oral doses (1.5 to 4.0 mg/kg) yielded two hour serum concentrations of 6.6 to 11.0 μg/ml which completely controlled apneic spells exceeding 20 seconds in duration and markedly reduced 10 to 19 second apneic episodes and any resultant bradycardia. At these serum levels, toxicity was not observed. Therapy with theophylline should be instituted at a dose of 2 to 3 mg/kg every six hours and the optimum therapeutic dose should be individualized as determined by objective quantitation of apnea and serum theophylline concentration.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Dec 1 1975|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health