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Effect of feed interval and feed type on splanchnic haemodynamics


AIM To study the effect of enteral feeding on splanchnic blood flow velocity in preterm infants.

METHOD Coeliac axis and superior mesenteric artery (SMA) blood flow velocity were measured longitudinally in a cohort of 61 babies using Doppler ultrasound.

RESULTS Babies fed 1 hourly had significantly higher preprandial SMA peak systolic velocity (PSV) than those fed 3 hourly (70 vs53 cm/s). Those fed 1 hourly showed no postprandial change whereas those fed 3 hourly showed significant postprandial hyperaemia. This hyperaemia had longer latency (42 vs 27 mins) and smaller amplitude (31 vs 25 mins) after expressed breast milk compared with preterm formula. The addition of long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids to the formulas had no effect on the postprandial response.

CONCLUSION Hourly bolus feeding leads to a persistent hyperaemic state in the SMA. The composition of feeds is an important determinant of the postprandial response of the SMA to 3 hourly feeding.

  • splanchnic circulation
  • hyperaemia
  • bolus feeding
  • Doppler ultrasound

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