Role of Carnitine Supplementation in Apnea of Prematurity: A Systematic Review
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OBJECTIVE: To determine the role of carnitine supplementation in premature infants on apnea of prematurity, length of ventilation and duration of hospital stay. METHODS: Two reviewers independently conducted a literature search for relevant studies. No language restrictions were applied. Decisions to include studies for the review, and methodological quality of the included studies were assessed in duplicate based on predetermined criteria. RESULTS: Three studies met the selection criteria (reproducibility-kappa 0.76+/-SE 0.122). One study was later excluded. Both included studies were randomized double-blind placebo control prevention trials among babies <1500 g of weight. There was no difference among the groups for outcomes of bedside nurse recorded frequency of apnea episodes, continuous objective recording of apnea, length of ventilation (WMD -3.24 days, 95% CI -8.39, 1.92) or length of hospital stay (WMD -5.4 days, 95% CI -15.53, 4.72). CONCLUSION: Present evidence does not support the regular use of carnitine for the prevention of apnea of prematurity.
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