Intramuscular Followed by Oral Vitamin A Supplementation in Neonates with Birth Weight from 750 to 1250 g: A Randomized Controlled Trial

  • S. Giridhar
  • Jogender Kumar
  • Savita Verma Attri
  • Sourabh Dutta
  • Praveen KumarEmail author
Original Research Article


Multiple intramuscular (IM) injections of vitamin A have been shown to decrease bronchopulmonary dysplasia in very low birth weight (VLBW) neonates. However, this regime is neither practical nor popular. Oral vitamin A has failed to achieve adequate plasma levels. We aimed to investigate if a schedule of initial IM followed by oral supplementation can reduce vitamin A deficiency. This was a blinded, randomized controlled trial, conducted in a level III neonatal unit. Neonates with birth weight from 750 to 1250 g, were enrolled at the age of 24–96 h of life. They were randomly allocated to vitamin A supplementation (VAS) (n = 61) or placebo group (n = 59). VAS group received vitamin A 5000 IU IM on alternate days till establishment of adequate enteral feeds, followed by oral 10,000 IU daily for 28 days. The primary outcome was incidence of vitamin A deficiency (plasma retinol < 200 μg/L) on day 28. A total of 120 neonates with mean (SD) gestation age and birth weight of 31 (2.4) weeks and 1065 (141) g, respectively were enrolled. More than 90% of cases were vitamin A deficient at the baseline. The proportion of vitamin A deficient infants on day 28 of study was significantly lower in VAS group compared to placebo group (4% vs. 61%, p < 0.001). The median (1st–3rd quartile) plasma retinol levels (μg/L) were significantly higher in VAS group compared to placebo [489 (295,627) vs. 184 (156,240), p < 0.001]. We conclude that the IM followed by oral VAS significantly reduced the incidence of vitamin A deficiency in VLBW infants.


Bronchopulmonary dysplasia Neonate Very low birth weight Vitamin A 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedure performed in study were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional Ethics Committee of PGIMER Chandigarh and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.


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Copyright information

© Association of Clinical Biochemists of India 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Giridhar
    • 1
  • Jogender Kumar
    • 1
  • Savita Verma Attri
    • 1
  • Sourabh Dutta
    • 1
  • Praveen Kumar
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division of Neonatology, Department of PediatricsPostgraduate Institute of Medical Education and ResearchChandigarhIndia

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