To analyze the need for parenteral nutrition (PN) in infants with a birth weight (BW) between 1250 and 1499 g.
Retrospective evaluation of clinical, nutritional, growth and neurodevelopmental data of infants with a BW between 1250 and 1499 g consecutively admitted to our institution between 2004 and 2020.
Of the 503 infants admitted during the study period, 130 (26%) received PN: in 97 (19%) PN was medically indicated, while in 33 (7%) there was no clear indication. Patients who received medically indicated PN were younger, smaller, and sicker than the 373 infants who were managed with enteral nutrition, and their weight gain was lower (14.6 ± 4.1 vs 16.9 ± 4.2 g∙kg−1 ∙ d−1, p = 0.000). Body size at 36 weeks and 2-year anthropometry and neurodevelopment of the infants managed with enteral nutrition were not different from our reference values.
After lowering the BW threshold for bridging PN from 1500 to 1250 g, we found that PN was started in only 20% of infants with a BW between 1250 and 1500 g. Withholding PN if not medically indicated did not result neither in growth faltering nor in reduced neurodevelopment.
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The authors are grateful to the infants’ parents and to the NICU nursing staff.
The authors declare no competing interests.
This retrospective study was approved by the local ethics committee (Prot. N. 2017 0503 OR; Det. N. 145/DG) and has therefore been performed in accordance with the ethical standards laid down in the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments. Specific national laws have been observed, too.
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Biagetti, C., Correani, A., Antognoli, L. et al. Which birth weight threshold to start parenteral nutrition? A single center experience. Eur J Clin Nutr (2023). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41430-022-01257-5