Association of Caffeine Daily Dose With Respiratory Outcomes in Preterm Neonates: A Retrospective Cohort Study

Shahzad Rauf, Samar Shah, Zainab Bibi, Rabiya Munir, Hamna Jiskani, Saeed Ahmad, Syed Adil Mir Shah, Aysha Bibi, Hafiz Fasih Ahmad, Kashif Hussain, Shabina Ariff, Gul Ambreen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Apnea and poor respiratory drive increase the risk of extubation failure (EF) and prolonged invasive mechanical ventilation (IMV) in preterm neonates (pre-nates) with respiratory distress. Caffeine citrate (CC) is often prescribed for pre-nates in doses of 5-10 mg/kg in 24 h. This study aimed to evaluate the most effective dosage regimen (5 mg/kg/day vs >5-10 mg/kg/day) to prevent apnea and EF with minimal caffeine-associated potential side effects (CC-APSEs) in pre-nates. This one-year retrospective cohort study included all the eligible neonates admitted to NICU and received CC-therapy till 28 days of life (DOL) or discharge. Based on CC-daily dose formed LD-caffeine-group (5 mg/kg/day) and HD-caffeine-group (>5-10 mg/kg/day). Antenatal, prenatal, and postnatal characteristics, CC-regimen, comorbidities, and CC-APSEs were compared between the groups. Predictors of apnea and EF were analyzed through logistic regression. There were 181 and 72 neonates in the LD and HD-caffeine-groups respectively. In HD-caffeine-group daily CC-dose was 7 to 7.5 mg/kg/day in 93% of neonates and >7.5 to 10 mg/kg/day in only 7%. Significantly fewer neonates experienced apnea and EF in the HD-caffeine-group till 28DOL or discharge. This difference was even greater in the subgroup of ≤28 weeks GA (15.6% vs 40.0%; P < .01). In HD-caffeine-group the incidence of severe/moderate-BPD was significantly lower and the frequency of CC-APSEs was higher. Multivariate analysis showed that; the smaller the GA higher the risk of apnea (AOR = 0.510, 95% CI 0.483-0.999) and EF (AOR = 0.787, 95% CI 0.411-0.997). The HD-caffeine was inversely associated with developing apnea (AOR = 0.244, 95% CI 0.053-0.291) and EF (AOR = 0.103, 95% CI 0.098-2.976). IMV-duration before extubation (AOR = 2.229, 95% CI 1.672-2.498) and severe/moderate-BPD (AOR = 2.410, 95%CI 1.104-2.952) had a high risk of EF. Initiating early HD-caffeine may prevent apnea and extubation failure in preterm neonates. Optimization of caffeine initiation time and dosages can be a safe and feasible approach to decrease the burden of neonatal respiratory morbidities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)469580241248098
JournalInquiry (United States)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2024


  • Apnea of prematurity
  • BPD
  • Caffeine citrate
  • extubation failure
  • invasive mechanical ventilation
  • NICU
  • preterm neonates


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