High dosages of vitamin E are being given to premature infants in an attempt to reduce the incidence and severity of retrolental fibroplasia.
The study, supported by the National Eye Institute, Bethesda, Md, is to involve a total of 650 infants with a gestational age of 36 weeks or less at birth. The majority will have weighed 2,000 g or less at birth and may or may not have received oxygen therapy. The remainder will have weighed more than 2,000 g at birth and will have required oxygen therapy for at least 18 of their first 36 hours.
These infants are being assigned to one of five groups on the basis of birth weight. Within a group, they are assigned randomly to treatment with vitamin E (dl-a-tocopherol) or a placebo. The vitamin or placebo is administered by infusion to those infants (about seven of ten) who already are receiving intravenous