August 1990

Toxic Effects Associated With the Administration of Deferoxamine in the Premature Baboon With Hyaline Membrane Disease

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Physiology and Medicine, Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, San Antonio, Tex (Drs deLemos and Gerstmann and Mr deLemos); Department of Pediatrics, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville (Dr Roberts); Department of Pathology, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio (Dr Coalson); and Neonatology Division, Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center, San Antonio (Dr Null).

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(8):915-919. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150320079032

• We hypothesized that administration of the iron chelator deferoxamine would inhibit iron-catalyzed free radical generation and lessen the severity of oxygeninduced pulmonary injury. To evaluate its efficacy and safety in premature infants, we administered deferoxamine by intravenous infusion to five premature baboons with hyaline membrane disease supported with conventional ventilation and 100% oxygen for 6 days. Seven animals served as controls. Deferoxamine treatment was initiated at 10 mg/kg per hour but, after the precipitous death of the first animal, was progressively reduced to 1.25 mg/kg per hour in the other animals. Four of five deferoxamine-treated baboons developed cardiovascular collapse and all five died by 42 hours. Five of the seven control animals survived the 6-day expermental period. Since cardiovascular toxic effects have not previously been reported, these findings suggest unique vulnerability of the immature cardiovascular system to iron chelation.

(AJDC. 1990;144:915-919)