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1.  Survey on retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) in Italy 
This study aims to investigate the incidence and the relative risk factors of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) and posterior-ROP (P-ROP): ROP in Zone I and posterior Zone II, as well as to analyze the occurrence of surgical treatment of ROP and to evaluate the short term outcome of the disease in Italy.
It is a prospective multicenter observational study; all infants with a birth weight (BW) ≤ 750 g and/or a gestational age (GA) ≤27 weeks born between January 1st 2008 and December 31st 2009 in 25 III level Italian neonatal intensive care units were eligible for the study.
421 infants were examined: 265 (62.9%) developed ROP and 102 (24.2%) P-ROP.
Following the multivariate analysis erythropoietin-therapy (p < 0.0001) and intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH) (p = 0.003) were significantly associated with ROP while gestational age ≤24 weeks (p = 0.011) and sepsis (p = 0.002) were associated with the onset of P-ROP. Eighty nine infants (34%) required surgical treatment; following the multivariate analysis P-ROP was an independent factor associated with the need of surgical treatment (p < 0.0001). A favorable outcome was reported in 251 (94.7%) newborns affected by ROP. Adverse outcome occurred in 14 patients: all of them underwent surgery and showed P-ROP.
P-ROP is the most aggressive type of ROP. It associates with lower GA and sepsis. Obstetricians and Neonatologists must focus on the reduction of severe preterm births and on the prevention of neonatal early and late onset sepsis in order to reduce the incidence of P-ROP.
PMCID: PMC3716628  PMID: 23837411
Retinopathy of prematurity (ROP); Posterior ROP; Plus-disease; Laserterapy; Extremely preterm infants
2.  Evaluation of splanchnic oximetry, Doppler flow velocimetry in the superior mesenteric artery and feeding tolerance in very low birth weight IUGR and non-IUGR infants receiving bolus versus continuous enteral nutrition 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:106.
IUGR infants are thought to have impaired gut function after birth, which may result in intestinal disturbances, ranging from temporary intolerance to the enteral feeding to full-blown NEC.
In literature there is no consensus regarding the impact of enteral feeding on intestinal blood flow and hence regarding the best regimen and the best rate of delivering the enteral nutrition.
This is a randomized, non-pharmacological, single-center, cross-over study including 20 VLBW infants.
Inclusion criteria
* Weight at birth ranging: 700–1501 grams
* Gestational age up to 25 weeks and 6 days
* Written informed consent from parents or guardians
Exclusion criteria
* Major congenital abnormality
* Patients enrolled in other trials
* Significant multi-organ failure prior to trial entry
* Pre-existing cutaneous disease not allowing the placement of the NIRS’ probe
In the first 24 hours of life, between the 48th and 72nd hours of life, and during Minimal Enteral Feeding, all infants’ intestinal perfusion will be evaluated with NIRS and a Doppler of the superior mesenteric artery will be executed.
At the achievement of an enteral intake of 100 mL/Kg/day the patients (IUGR and NON IUGR separately) will be randomized in 2 groups: Group A (n=10) will receive a feed by bolus (in 10 minutes); then, after at least 3 hours, they will receive the same amount of formula administered in 3 hours. Group B (n=10) will receive a feed administered in 3 hours followed by a bolus administration of the same amount of formula (in 10 minutes) after at least 3 hours.
On the randomization day intestinal and cerebral regional oximetry will be measured via NIRS. Intestinal and celebral oximetry will be measured before the feed and 30 minutes after the feed by bolus during the 3 hours nutrition the measurements will be performed before the feed, 30 minutes from the start of the nutrition and 30 minutes after the end of the gavage. An evaluation of blood flow velocity of the superior mesenteric artery will be performed meanwhile. The infants of the Group A will be fed with continuous nutrition until the achievement of full enteral feeding. The infants of the Group B will be fed by bolus until the achievement of full enteral feeding.
Evaluations of intestinal oximetry and superior mesenteric artery blood flow after the feed may help in differentiating how the feeding regimen alters the splanchnic blood flow and oxygenation and if the changes induced by feeding are different in IUGR versus NON IUGR infants.
Trial registration number
PMCID: PMC3447641  PMID: 22828032
Feeding tolerance; Near infrared spectroscopy; Minimal enteral feeding; Enteral nutrition; Parenteral nutrition; Intra-uterine growth restriction; Near infrared spectroscopy; Mesenteric artery Doppler; Bolus nutrition; Intermittent nutrition
3.  Metabolic Bone Disease in preterm newborn: an update on nutritional issues 
Osteopenia, a condition characterised by a reduction in bone mineral content, is a common disease of preterm babies between the tenth and sixteenth week of life. Prematurely born infants are deprived of the intrauterine supply of minerals affecting bone mineralization.
The aetiology is multifactorial: inadequate nutrients intake (calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D), a prolonged period of total parenteral nutrition, immobilisation and the intake of some drugs.
The diagnosis of metabolic bone disease is done by biochemical analysis: low serum levels of phosphorus and high levels of alkaline phosphatase are suggestive of metabolic bone disease. The disease can remain clinically silent or presents with symptoms and signs of rachitism depending on the severity of bone demineralisation.
An early nutritional intervention can reduce both the prevalence and the severity of osteopenia.
This article reviews the pathophysiology of foetal and neonatal bone metabolism, focuses on the nutrient requirements of premature babies and on the ways to early detect and treat osteopenia.
PMCID: PMC2729305  PMID: 19602277

Results 1-3 (3)