Erythropoietin Neuroprotection in the Term and Preterm Infant: Safety and Efficacy

  • Eric J. Demers
  • Sandra E. Juul

Abstract

The neonatal brain is particularly susceptible to a variety of insults, particularly hypoxia-ischemia (HI). Developmental differences occur during brain maturation and contribute to variable patterns of brain injury in preterm and term neonates after HI. Following HI, a multifactorial cascade is initiated that injures the developing brain and can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Despite intense investigation, no effective interventions are currently available to lessen the devastating impact of neonatal brain injury. Erythropoietin (EPO), a hematologic cytokine, has shown promise as a neuroprotective agent in both in vitro and in vivo animal studies and continues to be actively investigated. In this chapter, we explore mechanisms of brain injury following HI in neonates, highlight differential injury responses that occur during development, and discuss the promising role of EPO as a therapeutic agent after neonatal HI.

Key words

Hypoxia-ischemia (HI) Brain Injury Neonate Preterm infant 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eric J. Demers
    • 1
  • Sandra E. Juul
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsUniversity of WashingtonSeattle

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