Document Detail

Olfactory stimulation prevents apnea in premature newborns.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  15629985     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
OBJECTIVE: Methylxanthines and doxapram are currently used to treat apnea of prematurity but are not fully effective and often present undesirable side effects. The present study examines whether exposure to an odor known to modulate the infant's respiratory rate could reduce the frequency of apneic spells. METHOD: Fourteen preterm newborns born at 24 to 28 gestational weeks presenting recurrent apnea despite caffeine and doxapram therapy were exposed to a pleasant odor diffused during 24 hours in the incubator. Efficiency of the olfactory treatment was judged by comparing frequency and severity of apneas occurring during the day of odorization with that observed the day before (baseline) and the day after (posttreatment control). Apnea was defined as any complete cessation of breathing movements for >20 seconds, or less if associated with hypoxia or bradycardia. RESULTS: Concerning all types of apneas, a diminution of 36% was observed and seen in 12 of 14 infants. Apneas without bradycardia were reduced (44%) during the day with odorization, and this diminution affected all the infants. The frequency of apnea with moderate bradycardia (heart rate between 70 and 90 beats per minute) was maintained while the frequency of apnea associated with severe bradycardia (heart rate <70 beats per minute) decreased strongly (45%) and affected all the infants. No side effects were observed. CONCLUSION: The introduction of a pleasant odor in the incubator is of therapeutic value in the treatment of apneas unresponsive to caffeine and doxapram.
Luc Marlier; Christophe Gaugler; Jean Messer
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Clinical Trial; Controlled Clinical Trial; Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Pediatrics     Volume:  115     ISSN:  1098-4275     ISO Abbreviation:  Pediatrics     Publication Date:  2005 Jan 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2005-01-04     Completed Date:  2005-04-19     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0376422     Medline TA:  Pediatrics     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  83-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM    
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, UMR 5170, site of Strasbourg, France. <>
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MeSH Terms
Apnea / complications,  prevention & control*
Bradycardia / etiology
Caffeine / therapeutic use
Central Nervous System Stimulants / therapeutic use
Combined Modality Therapy
Doxapram / therapeutic use
Drug Therapy, Combination
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Premature
Infant, Premature, Diseases / prevention & control*
Physical Stimulation
Respiratory System Agents / therapeutic use
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Central Nervous System Stimulants; 0/Respiratory System Agents; 309-29-5/Doxapram; 58-08-2/Caffeine
Comment In:
Pediatrics. 2005 Jun;115(6):1789; author reply 1789-90   [PMID:  15930252 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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