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Enteral feeding for very-low-birth-weight infants: reducing the risk of necrotising enterocolitis
  1. Manbir Chauhan
  1. ANU Medical School, Australia
    1. Ginny Henderson
    1. Griffith University, Australia
      1. William McGuire (william.mcguire{at}
      1. ANU Medical School, Australia


        The principal modifiable risk factors for necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) in very-low-birth-weight infants relate to enteral feeding practices.

        Evidence exists that feeding with formula milk increases the risk of NEC.

        Currently, only limited data are available on the effect of the timing of feed introduction and advancement on the risk of developing NEC.

        Large, multi-centre randomised controlled trials of these strategies are needed. Other promising interventions that merit further evaluation include the use of prebiotics and probiotics, and the avoidance of exposure to H2-receptor antagonists.

        • enteral feeding
        • necrotising enterocolitis
        • very-low-birth-weight

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