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Growth and morbidity of extremely preterm infants after early full enteral nutrition


Objectives To evaluate feasibility and consequences of accelerated feeding advancement on short-term outcomes in extremely low gestational age neonates (ELGANs) who stayed in our institution for >28 days.

Methods Retrospective single-centre cohort analysis covering the years 2011–2013. Data are presented as median (IQR).

Results Infants '(n=77) birth weight was 745 (640 to 960) g and gestational age at birth 26.7 (25.1 to 27.4) weeks. Full enteral feeds were attained by postnatal day 7 (5 to 11). Weight gain from birth to discharge was 14.3 (13.3 to 16.1) g/kg/day, change in SD score for weight −0.03 (−0.55 to 0.46) and 0.09 (−0.78 and 0.82) for head circumference. Rates of necrotising enterocolitis and spontaneous intestinal perforation in all ELGANs admitted during the study period were 3.1% and 9.4%, respectively.

Conclusions This cohort of ELGANs showed good weight gain and head growth after early full enteral nutrition. The impact of this feeding practice on neonatal morbidity and long-term outcome remains to be tested in adequately powered randomised trials.

  • Nutrition
  • extremely low birth weight infants
  • infant, premature
  • infant, newborn
  • feeding methods
  • weight gain
  • necrotizing enterocolitis
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