Author(s): Kashyap S
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Abstract PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Most conventionally managed very low birth weight infants experience postnatal growth restriction. There is some evidence that this postnatal growth restriction may have long-lasting effects, and contribute to short stature and poor neurodevelopmental outcomes. There is also evidence suggesting that early protein intake may improve growth in these very low birth weight infants. Therefore, to optimize protein intake early in the infant's neonatal course seems a logical goal. RECENT FINDINGS: Randomized controlled trials provide evidence of short-term safety and efficacy for starting amino acid infusion as soon as possible after birth at 2.5-3.0 g/kg/day in very low birth weight infants; however, there are no long-term data to support the safety or efficacy of this practice. There is some evidence from recent studies of improved growth by providing 4.0 g/kg/day of amino acid early in the neonatal period while keeping the nitrogen to energy ratio above 1:100 and continuing with this protein intake during the infants stay in the hospital. At the present time long-term safety of this strategy is also not known. SUMMARY: Appropriately designed large-scale randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the long-term safety and efficacy of early and aggressive administration of protein to very low birth weight infants.
This article was published in Curr Opin Pediatr
and referenced in Clinical Pediatrics: Open Access