Table 3

 Theophylline derivatives and apnoea due to other causes

CitationStudy groupStudy type (level of evidence)OutcomeKey resultsComments
Henderson-Smart and Steer (2001)192 preterm infants in 5 trialsSystematic review (level 1a)Reduction in apnoea and use of IPPVRRR for apnoea 0.45 (95% CI 0.31–0.60). RRR for IPPV 0.34 (95% CI 0.12–0.97)3 studies used caffeine and 2 studies theophylline
Henderson-Smart and Steer (2001)78 ex-preterm infants undergoing general anaesthesia for surgery. Gestational age 30–32 weeks. Post conceptual age 40–44 weeksSystematic review (level 1a)Reduction in the incidence of apnoea and bradycardia in the postoperative periodRRR 91% (95%CI 66 to 98). ARR 58%. No infant in either control or treatment group required intubationIntravenous caffeine in a single dose during general anaesthesia. Dosage 5–10 mg/kg
Lim et al (2003)42 term infants requiring PGE1 infusion for duct dependent congenital heart diseaseRCT (level 1b)Reduction in intubation for apnoea6/21 required intubation in the placebo compared to 0/21 in the aminophylline group (p = 0.02)6 mg/kg iv aminophylline followed by 2 mg/kg iv 8 hourly for 72 hours