Induction of early meconium evacuation promotes feeding tolerance in very low birth weight infants

So Yeon Shim, Han Suk Kim, Do Hyun Kim, Ee Kyung Kim, Dong Woo Son, Beyong Il Kim, Jung Hwan Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background: A delay in reaching full enteral feeding is linked to poorer outcome in preterm neonates. Meconium retention has been viewed as a cause of bowel dysfunction in very low birth weight infants (VLBWI). Thus, adequate evacuation of meconium could help to promote feeding tolerance. Objectives: Our goal was to determine the effect of the induction of early meconium evacuation on feeding tolerance in VLBWI. Methods: An observational study involving two subsequent periods was performed in inborn infants with birth weights of <1,500 g, before (control) and after (study) the induction of early meconium evacuation by routine glycerin enema. The total duration of these periods was from January 2003 to December 2005. To evaluate feeding tolerance, we measured time to achieve full enteral feeding. Complications such as sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis were compared. Results: The study group achieved full enteral feeding significantly faster than the control group (hazard ratio (HR) = 2.9; 95% confidence interval (CI) = 1.8-4.8), and this effect was more definite in infants with a birth weight of <1,000 g (HR = 4.6; 95% CI = 1.9-11.1). The study group passed first meconium faster than the control group (median = 1.4 vs. 3.7 days; p < 0.001). Sepsis, especially as determined by positive culture in central venouscatheter, was significantly reduced in the study group (7.7 vs. 27.8%; p = 0.02). Conclusions: The induction of early meconium evacuation had a significantly positive effect on feeding tolerance and sepsis prevention in VLBWI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)67-72
Number of pages6
JournalNeonatology
Volume92
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2007

Keywords

  • Full enteral feeding
  • Glycerin enema
  • Meconium
  • Sepsis

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