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Infant apnoea is defined as a cessation of breathing that lasts for more than 20 s, or lasts less than 20 s and is associated with cyanosis, marked pallor, hypotonia or bradycardia.1 Recurrent apnoeas occur frequently in preterm infants, and incidence and severity are inversely related to gestational age.2
It has been previously demonstrated that methylxanthines, such as caffeine and theophylline, can reduce the frequency of apnoeas in preterm infants. However, some short-term adverse effects, such as tachycardia and feeding intolerance, have been reported, and only few trials have investigated potential long-term effects on growth and neurodevelopmental outcome.3
The review aims to determine the effect of methylxanthines on the incidence of apnoea and the need for intermittent positive pressure ventilation (IPPV) in preterm infants with recurrent apnoeas. …
Competing interests None.