Cochrane Summaries

Trusted evidence. Informed decisions. Better health.

Early volume expansion versus inotrope for prevention of morbidity and mortality in very preterm infants

Osborn DA, Evans NJ
Published Online: 
21 January 2009

Not enough evidence to show the effect of early volume expansion in very preterm babies. Low blood pressure and blood flow are common in preterm babies and can cause brain injury, organ damage and developmental problems. Increasing the amount of fluid in the blood stream (volume expansion) using albumin or salt solutions may increase the blood pressure and flow of blood. Inotrope drugs such as dopamine are used to increase the heart rate and blood pressure. The review of trials compared early volume expansion with inotropes. The review found dopamine is more effective than albumin at correcting low blood pressure in preterm babies but neither improves outcomes for babies. More research is needed.