European Journal of Pediatrics

, 168:1491 | Cite as

Effect of caffeine on respiratory muscle strength and lung function in prematurely born, ventilated infants

  • Zainab Kassim
  • Anne Greenough
  • Gerrard F. Rafferty
Original Paper


The aims of this study were to determine whether caffeine administration increased respiratory muscle function and if this was associated with lung function improvement in prematurely born infants being weaned from mechanical ventilation. Respiratory muscle function was assessed by measurement of the maximum pressures generated during occlusions at end inspiration (Pemax) and end expiration (Pimax) and lung function by measurement of lung volume (functional residual capacity (FRC)) and respiratory system compliance (CRS) and resistance (RRS) in 18 infants with a median gestational age of 28 (range 24–36) weeks. Measurements were made immediately prior to caffeine administration (baseline) and 6 h later. Six hours after caffeine administration compared to baseline, the median Pemax (p = 0.017), Pimax (p = 0.004), FRC (p < 0.001), CRS (p = 0.002) and RRS (p = 0.004) had significantly improved. Our results suggest that caffeine administration facilitates weaning of prematurely born infants from mechanical ventilation by improving respiratory muscle strength.


Methylxanthines Respiratory muscle Lung function Prematurity 



Dr. Kassim was supported by King’s College Hospital Foundation Trust.

Conflict of interest statement



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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zainab Kassim
    • 1
  • Anne Greenough
    • 1
    • 2
  • Gerrard F. Rafferty
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Asthma, Allergy and Lung Biology, MRC Asthma CentreKing’s College LondonLondonUK
  2. 2.Neonatal Intensive Care CentreKing’s College HospitalLondonUK

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