Race Effects of Inhaled Nitric Oxide in Preterm Infants: An Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis

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Abstract

Objective

To assess whether inhaled nitric oxide (iNO) improves survival without bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) for preterm African American infants.

Study design

An individual participant data meta-analysis was conducted, including 3 randomized, placebo-controlled trials that enrolled infants born at <34 weeks of gestation receiving respiratory support, had at least 15% (or a minimum of 10 infants in each trial arm) of African American race, and used a starting iNO of >5 parts per million with the intention to treat for 7 days minimum. The primary outcome was a composite of death or BPD. Secondary outcomes included death before discharge, postnatal steroid use, gross pulmonary air leak, pulmonary hemorrhage, measures of respiratory support, and duration of hospital stay.

Results

Compared with other races, African American infants had a significant reduction in the composite outcome of death or BPD with iNO treatment: 49% treated vs 63% controls (relative risk, 0.77; 95% CI, 0.65-0.91; P = .003; interaction P = .016). There were no differences between racial groups for death. There was also a significant difference between races (interaction P = .023) of iNO treatment for BPD in survivors, with the greatest effect in African American infants (P = .005). There was no difference between racial groups in the use of postnatal steroids, pulmonary air leak, pulmonary hemorrhage, or other measures of respiratory support.

Conclusion

iNO therapy should be considered for preterm African American infants at high risk for BPD. iNO to prevent BPD in African Americans may represent an example of a racially customized therapy for infants.

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