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Shah SD, Booth N, Nandula P, Makker K, Cortez J, Sharma R, Smotherman C, Hudak ML. Effects of standardized feeding protocol on growth velocity and necrotizing enterocolitis in extremely low birth weight infants. J Perinatol. 2020 Dec 6. doi: 10.1038/s41372-020-00892-9. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33281186.

Objective: To assess the effect of a standardized feeding protocol (SFP) on growth velocity (GV) and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in extremely low birth weight infants.

Methods: This single-study center retrospectively compared growth, nutritional, and gastrointestinal outcomes in two infant cohorts before (cohort 1; n = 145) and after (cohort 2; n = 69) SFP implementation.

Results: Although weekly GV in the first 4 weeks of life did not differ between the two cohorts, median GV at 36 weeks’ post-menstrual age (PMA) was higher in cohort 2 compared with cohort 1 (26.8 g/day [24.7, 28.9] vs 24.9 g/day [22.9, 28.3], p = 0.02). The odds of NEC were lower in cohort 2 by 63% after adjusting for birth weight, small-for-gestational-age, and gender (OR = 0.38, 95% CI 0.142-0.993, p = 0.047).

Conclusion: Our SFP was associated with improved GV at 36 weeks’ PMA and a lower adjusted rate of NEC.

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