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Intranasal Human Milk as Stem Cell Therapy in Preterm Infants With Intraventricular Hemorrhage

Intervention Type: Other
Study Type: Interventional
Participants: 40
Intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) is a leading cause of brain injury in infants born before term. Severe IVH, which occurs nearly exclusively in very preterm infants (born before 32 weeks gestation) who are already at risk of neurodevelopmental delays and cerebral palsy at baseline, results in a 5 times higher risk of death or moderate-severe neurodevelopmental impairment, as well as short-term morbidities in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Outcomes are worsened by the fact that the brains of these preterm infants are not fully developed, so the progenitor cells that would later differentiate and mature are damaged, resulting in hypomyelination and gray matter loss that are associated with poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. There is no available therapy to treat the IVH or resultant brain injury, other than symptomatic management for resultant post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus with lumbar punctures and temporary or permanent shunts, which have significant risks on their own. This is a phase I trial to determine whether fresh intranasal human milk (HM) can be safely delivered as stem cell therapy to preterm IVH patients within a 3-hour window from HM expression and to identify signals which would indicate whether intranasal HM stimulates the repair of damaged brain tissue. Outcomes will be compared to HM fed historical IVH controls. Recruitment will take place in tertiary care NICUs in Toronto, which care for the highest proportion of very preterm infants with IVH in Canada. These NICUs have already adopted a common protocolized approach to manage severe IVH and post-hemorrhagic hydrocephalus with intensive monitoring, early symptomatic management, and detailed prospectively collected IVH data.
The Hospital for Sick Children - Recruiting
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Mount Sinai Hospital - Recruiting
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Gender: All
Healthy Volunteers: No
Inclusion Criteria:
1. Preterm infants (<33 weeks gestation at birth, stratified < and ≥28 weeks) with grade
III IVH and/or grade IV IVH/intraparenchymal hemorrhage/infarction5 on head ultrasound in
the first 10 days of life. Diagnostic criteria will be based on the Papile definitions as
used by the study sites/Toronto Centre for Neonatal Health for PHVD management, outlined in
the document Intraventricular Hemorrhage and Measurements of Lateral Ventricular Size from
Head Ultrasound
Exclusion Criteria:
1. Disorders associated with neurodevelopmental delays or impairment (i.e. Trisomy 21)
2. Moribund/critically ill infant or known lethal diagnosis with plans by medical team to redirect care
3. Choanal atresia or anomalies that would not allow intranasal treatment
4. Surgical condition (e.g. esophageal atresia) for which team feels intranasal HM is contraindicated
5. Enrolled in other intervention trials in which primary target is neurodevelopmental outcome
6. Parent with lactation contraindication(s) (i.e. HIV) or parent who declines lactation initiation
7. Lactating parent unable to provide fresh HM: unable/unwilling to pump at study site or unable to have fresh HM delivered by designee at least once/day for 3 days within 3 hours of pumping AND located (in hospital or home) >30km from study sites (for courier services)

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