Increase of Caffeine and Decrease of Corticosteroids for Extremely Low Birthweight Infants with Respiratory Failure from 1997 to 2011

Gerull, Roland; Manser, Helen; Küster, Helmut; Arenz, Tina; Nelle, Mathias; Arenz, Stephan (2013). Increase of Caffeine and Decrease of Corticosteroids for Extremely Low Birthweight Infants with Respiratory Failure from 1997 to 2011. Acta paediatrica, 102(12), pp. 1154-1159. Wiley 10.1111/apa.12419

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To compare treatment strategies for respiratory failure in extremely low birth weight (ELBW) infants in Germany in 1997 to Germany, Austria and Switzerland in 2011.


A detailed questionnaire about treatment strategies for ELBW infants was sent to all German centres treating ELBW infants in 1997. A follow-up survey was conducted in 2011 in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


In 1997 and 2011, 63.6% and 66.2% of the hospitals responded. In 2011 the response rate was higher in Switzerland than in Germany, and in university hospitals versus non-university hospitals. Treatment strategies did not differ between university and non-university hospitals as well as NICUs of different sizes in 2011. Differences between Germany, Austria and Switzerland were minimal. Administration of caffeine increased significantly, whereas theophylline and doxapram declined (all p<0.001). While the use of dexamethasone decreased and the use of hydrocortisone increased, the overall use of corticosteroids declined (all p<0.001). Between 1997 and 2011 therapy with inhalations and mucolytics decreased (both p<0.001) whereas the use application of diuretics did not change significantly. In mechanically ventilated infants the application of muscle relaxants and sedation declined significantly (p=0.009 and p<0.001), whereas analgesia use did not change.


Treatment strategies for respiratory failure in ELBW infants have changed significantly between 1997 and 2011. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gynaecology, Paediatrics and Endocrinology (DFKE) > Clinic of Paediatric Medicine

UniBE Contributor:

Gerull, Roland, Arenz, Tina, Nelle, Mathias, Arenz, Stephan


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health








Anette van Dorland

Date Deposited:

10 Apr 2014 15:23

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:33

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

caffeine corticosteroids extremely low birthweight infants preterm infants respiratory failure survey


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