How to administrate erythropoietin, intravenous or subcutaneous?




To determine whether adding recombinant erythropoietin to the intravenous (IV) solution and administering it as a 24-h continuous infusion would result in an erythropoietic effect not inferior to that seen with subcutaneous (SC) administration.


Infants weighing ≤1500 grams and ≤32 weeks of gestational age were randomly assigned at 72 h of life to receive erythropoietin (300 units/kg, 3 times a week until 36 complete weeks of postmenstrual age or discharge), either subcutaneously [erythropoietin subcutaneous (ESC) group] or added to IV fluids [erythropoietin intravenous (EIV) group].


One hundred infants were randomized (50 in the EIV group and 50 in the ESC group). The incidence of transfusions was comparable in the two groups, similar in baseline characteristics and haematologic values at study entry. Phlebotomy losses did not differ between groups, and at the end of the study, there were no differences in reticulocyte counts, transferrin saturation and ferritin. No differences in the incidence of side effects were observed.


In preterm infants, continuous intravenous administration of erythropoietin was not inferior to SC dosing.