Background: The advancement of enteral nutrition in premature infants is still controversial. Clinicians must provide adequate caloric intake but avoiding feeding intolerance and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). The aim of this study was to establish the safety and effectiveness of fast enteral advancement by comparing it with traditional advancement.
Methods: This is a controlled randomized clinical trial. Feeding was advanced at 30 mL/kg/d vs 20 mL/kg/d in premature infants under 34 weeks between 1000 and 1499g birth weight, and at 40 mL/kg/d vs 20 mL/kg/day in those weighing 1500-1999 g. Outcomes included time to reach total enteral nutrition, days of parenteral nutrition (PN) and/or intravenous fluid (IVF), days to recover birth weight, episodes of feeding intolerance, growth and weight gain at 40 weeks, sepsis, hypoglycemia, hyperbilirubinemia, NEC, and mortality. Student t-test or Mann-Whitney U test, Fisher test or χ2 test, and multiple linear regression were used.
Results: Differences were found in days to reach total enteral nutrition (slow: 7 [IQR(interquartile range), 6-9], fast: 4 [IQR, 4-6]; P < .001) and days of IVF or PN (slow: 6 [IQR, 4-8], fast: 3 [IQR, 3-5]; P < .001). Fast advancement decreases time to total enteral nutrition by 3 days and PN and/or IVF by up to 5 days. There were no differences in other outcomes.
Conclusions: Fast enteral advancement decreases the days to reach total enteral nutrition and the days of PN and/or IVF without causing greater feeding intolerance. Additional studies are required for more evidence.