The use of high dose octreotide in management of neonatal chylothorax: Review

Abstract: BACKGROUND:Being a rare condition, the incidence of chylothorax among neonates is low, but the mortality rate is high. In a dire effort to reduce the risk of death, octreotide treatment is used to effectively treat acquired and congenital chylothorax. Octreotide is proven to effectively treat chylothorax in pre-term and full-term neonates. However, previous studies have not consistently demonstrated the optimal dose of octreotide or the best mode of administration. The objectives of this work were to review previous literature to determine the outcomes of administering high doses of octreotide compared to lower dose regimens in neonates with chylothorax and to determine best practices. METHODS:A literature search was performed using electronic databases using the key words neonates, chylothorax, and octreotide. RESULTS:Octreotide has been administrated in doses ranging from 0.5μg/kg/h to > 20μg/kg/h. Both low- and high-doses of octreotide are effective in resolving chylothorax with little to no side effects. When side effects were reported, neonates experienced side effects that are less significant in nature and scope. CONCLUSIONS:We recommend that the dose of octreotide in neonatal chylothorax can be titrated safely to a maximum of 20μg/kg/h without significant side effects.

*Corresponding Author: 

 M.A. Alhasoon, MD, Department of Pediatrics, Unaizah College of Medicine and Medical Sciences, Qassim University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Tel.: +966 555179968; E-mail: