Richard Allan Ehrenkranz MD

Professor of Pediatrics (Neonatology) and of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences

Research Interests

Clinical trials in neonatal-perinatal medicine; Nutritional needs of very low birth weight infants; Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; Neurodevelopmental follow-up of Newborn Special Care Unit graduates


Research Summary

My research interests include the nutritional requirements of very low birth weight (VLBW, birth weight < 1,500 gm) preterm infants, prevention of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in preterm infants, prevention and management of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD; also referred to as chronic lung disease (CLD)) in preterm infants, strategies to reduce blood transfusions in VLBW infants, retinopathy of prematurity, and neuroprotective therapies such as whole body cooling for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

I coordinated Yale's participation in a multicenter research network of newborn intensive care units sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development from 1991-2011. The purpose of this network was to design and perform collaborative clinical research investigations, both randomized clinical trials and observational studies. Examples of on-going or recently completed randomized clinical trials include projects evaluating the efficacy of parenteral glutamine supplementation in reducing the incidence of death or late-onset infection in extremely low birth weight infants, the efficiacy of induced hypothermia (body cooling) for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in term infants, the efficacy of early erythropoietin therapy in reducing blood transfusions in infants <= 1250 gm birthweight, the efficacy of supplemental vitamin A therapy in the prevention of CLD, and the efficacy of dexamethasone therapy in the treatment of CLD, a randomized trial of aggressive vs conservative phototherapy in extremely low birth weight infants (BW < 1000 gm), and the SUPPORT trial that compared ventilation strategies and oxygenation target ranges beginning in the delivery room.

Extensive Research Description

My research interests include the nutritional requirements of very low birthweight (VLBW, birthweight < 1,500 gm) preterm infants, prevention of intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) in preterm infants, prevention and management of bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD; also referred to as chronic lung disease (CLD)) in preterm infants, strategies to reduce blood transfusions in VLBW infants, retinopathy of prematurity, and neuroprotective strategies such as whole body cooling for the treatment of hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy.

I also coordinate Yale's participation in a multicenter research network of newborn intensive care units sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. The purpose of this network is to design and perform collaborative clinical research investigations, both randomized clinical trials and observational studies.

Examples of on-going or recently completed randomized clinical trials include projects evaluating the efficacy of parenteral glutamine supplementation in reducing the incidence of death or late-onset infection in extremely low birth weight infants, the benefit of early vs. late inhaled nitric oxide therapy in the treatment of severe respiratory failure in term and near-term infants, the efficiacy of induced hypothermia (body cooling) for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in term infants, the efficacy of early erythropoietin therapy in reducing blood transfusions in infants <= 1250 gm birthweight, the efficacy of supplemental vitamin A therapy in the prevention of CLD, and the efficacy of dexamethasone therapy in the treatment of CLD, a randomized trial of aggressive vs conservative phototherapy in extremely low birth weight infants (BW < 1000 gm), and the SUPPORT trial that compared ventilation strategies and oxygenation target ranges beginning in the delivery room.

Examples of recently completed observational studies include the development of growth curves for VLBW infants and the validation of scales to assess gestational age and severity of illness in VLBW infants.


Selected Publications

  • Carlo WA, McDonald SA, Tyson JE, Stoll BJ, Ehrenkranz RA, Shankaran S, Goldberg RN, Das A, Schendel D, Thorsen P, Skogstrand K, Hougaard DM, Oh W, Laptook AR, Duara S, Fanaroff AA, Donovan EF, Korones SB, Stevenson DK, Papile LA, Finer NN, O'Shea TM, Poindexter BB, Wright LL, Ambalavanan N, Higgins RD; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Cytokines and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes in Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants. J Pediatr. 2011 Jul 26. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 21798559
  • Laughon MM, Langer JC, Bose CL, Smith PB, Ambalavanan N, Kennedy KA, Stoll BJ, Buchter S, Laptook AR, Ehrenkranz RA, Cotten CM, Wilson-Costello DE, Shankaran S, Van Meurs KP, Davis AS, Gantz MG, Finer NN, Yoder BA, Faix RG, Carlo WA, Schibler KR, Newman NS, Rich W, Das A, Higgins RD, Walsh MC; Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Prediction of bronchopulmonary dysplasia by postnatal age in extremely premature infants. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2011; 183(12):1715-22. Epub 2011 Mar 4.
  • Ehrenkranz RA, Das A, Wrage LA, Poindexter BB, Higgins R, Stoll BJ, Oh W, for the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health Human Development Neonatal Research Network. Early Nutrition Mediates the Influence of Severity of Illness on Extremely Low Birth Weight Infants. Pediatr Res. 2011; 69: 522-529. Epub 2011 Apr 4.
  • SUPPORT Study Group of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD Neonatal Research Network (Ehrenkranz RA). Targets Ranges of Oxygen Saturation in Extremely Preterm Infants. N Engl J Med 2010; 362:1959-1969. Epub 2010 May 16.
  • Doyle LW, Ehrenkranz RA, Halliday HL. Dexamethasone treatment in first week of life for Preventing Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in Preterm Infants: A Systematic Review. Neonatology. 2010 Apr 13; 98:217-224. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Doyle LW, Ehrenkranz RA, Halliday HL. Postnatal Hydrocortisone for Preventing or Treating Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia in Preterm Infants: A Systematic Review. Neonatology. 2010 Feb 12; 98(2):111-117. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 20150750
  • Martin CR, Brown YF, Ehrenkranz RA, O’Shea TM, Allred EN, Belfort MB, McCormick MC, Leviton A, for the ELGAN Study Investigators. Nutritional practices and growth velocity in the first month of life in extremely premature infants. Pediatrics. 124:649-657, 2009.
  • Bose C, Van Marter LJ, Laughon M, O”Shea TM, Allred EN, Karna P, Ehrenkranz RA, Boggess K, Leviton A, for the ELGAN Study Investigators. Fetal growth restriction is followed by an increased risk of chronic lung disease among infants born before the 28th week of gestation. Pediatrics 124:e450-e458, 2009.

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