help button home button ClinMed NetPrints
Warning: This article has not yet been accepted for publication by a peer reviewed journal. It is presented here mainly for the benefit of fellow researchers. Casual readers should not act on its findings, and journalists should be wary of reporting them.

This Article
Right arrow Reason for Revision of the previous version
Right arrow Full Text
Right arrow HTML Page - table1.htslp
Right arrow HTML Page - table2.htslp
Right arrow All Versions of this Article:
2001010004v2    most recent
Right arrow Similar articles in this netprints
Right arrow Download to citation manager
Citing Articles
Right arrow Citing Articles via Google Scholar
Google Scholar
Right arrow Articles by D'Souza, R. M.
Right arrow Articles by D'Souza, R.
Right arrow Search for Related Content
Right arrow Articles by D'Souza, R. M.
Right arrow Articles by D'Souza, R.
Related Collections
Right arrow CLINICAL:
Medicine in Developing Countries

Right arrow Nutrition and Metabolism
Right arrow Paediatrics:
Other Paediatrics

Right arrow Respiratory Medicine:
Other respiratory infections

Right arrow Statistics and Research Methods:
Systematic reviews (incl meta-analyses): examples

clinmed/2001010004v2 (March 8, 2001)
Contact author(s) for copyright information

Vitamin A for the treatment of measles in children - A systematic review

Rennie M. D'Souza, and Ron D'Souza

Objective: To determine whether vitamin A prevents mortality and pneumonia specific mortality in children with measles. Design: Meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials Setting: A systematic search of the medical literature identified studies that used vitamin A to treat measles. Subjects: 492 children aged 6 months to 13 years were supplemented with vitamin A and 536 with placebo in six trials, five of which were conducted in hospitals and one in the community. Main outcome measures: Mortality and pneumonia specific mortality. Results: We found no evidence that a single dose of 200,000 IU of vitamin A was associated with reduced mortality among children with measles; relative risk was 1.25 (95% confidence interval 0.48 to 3.1; heterogeneity, P=0.60). The same dose given for two days was associated with a reduced risk of overall mortality 0.36; (0.14 to 0.82; heterogeneity, P=0.51) and pneumonia specific mortality 0.33 (0.08 to 0.92; heterogeneity, P=0.74) in hospitalised children in areas with high case fatality. The effect was greater in children under the age of two years 0.17 (0.03 to 0.61; heterogeneity, P=0.79). There were no trials comparing a single dose with two doses of vitamin A. There were not enough studies to separate out the individual effects of age, dose, formulation, hospitalisation and case fatality in the study area. Conclusions: 200,000 IU of vitamin A repeated on two days should be used for the treatment of measles as recommended by WHO in children admitted to hospitals in areas where the case fatality is high.