Evaluation of growth in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) infants with intestinal failure or feeding intolerance
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The purpose of this study was to evaluate growth velocities of infants with intestinal failure or feeding intolerance for the first 84 days of life and determine birth and 40 week post-menstrual age (PMA) percentiles using the Olsen growth curves. Participants included 167 infants ages 0-3 months followed by the Texas Children’s Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) Intestinal Rehabilitation Team with intestinal failure or feeding intolerance. Weekly weight, length, and head circumference growth velocities were calculated and growth data were compared to the Olsen growth standards. Weight, length, and head circumference percentiles significantly decreased from birth to 40 weeks PMA or discharge (P < 0.001). Average growth velocities (weight gain 19.97 g/week, length 0.81 cm/week, head circumference 0.52 cm/week) fluctuated and all were below expected norms. Infants with intestinal failure or feeding intolerance were uniquely nutritionally compromised putting them at high risk for extrauterine growth restriction.