Caffeine may prevent prostaglandin E1 (PGE1) induced respiratory complications in infants treated for congenital heart defects.

PGE1 is a life-saving medication for infants with certain types of congenital heart disease, but can also cause respiratory complications such as apnea, which if severe enough may necessitate intubation.

The study used an animal model to test whether pre-treatment with caffeine could prevent the PGE1-induced respiratory complications.

“…Prostaglandin’s effects could be mediated thorough microglia, and caffeine could be a convenient treatment to prevent respiratory instability in infants receiving PGE1 infusion,” researchers concluded.