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2.  The role of nutrition in promoting growth in pre-term infants with bronchopulmonary dysplasia: a prospective non-randomised interventional cohort study 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14(1):235.
Background
Pre-term infants who develop bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD) are at risk of postnatal growth failure. It has been reported that energy expenditure is higher in infants with BPD than in those without BPD. The aim of the study was to evaluate whether increasing the enteral energy intake of pre-term infants with BPD can improve post-natal growth.
Methods
This prospective, non-randomised interventional cohort study was designed to assess growth in 57 preterm infants with BPD (gestational age <32 weeks, birth weight <1500 g, and persistent oxygen dependency for up to 28 days of life) fed individually tailored fortified breast milk and/or preterm formula, and a historical control group of 73 pre-term infants with BPD fed breast milk fortified in accordance with the instructions of the manufacturer and/or pre-term formula. Between-group differences in the continuous variables were analysed using Student’s t test or the Mann-Whitney test; the discrete variables were compared using the chi-squared test. Linear regression analysis was used to investigate the independent contribution of enteral energy intake to weight gain velocity.
Results
The duration of parenteral nutrition was similar in the historical and intervention groups (43.7 ± 30.9 vs 39.6 ± 17.4 days). After the withdrawal of parenteral nutrition, enteral energy intake was higher in the infants in the intervention group with mild or moderate BPD (131 ± 6.3 vs 111 ± 4.6 kcal/kg/day; p < 0.0001) and in those with severe BPD (126 ± 5.3 vs 105 ± 5.1 kcal/kg/day; p < 0.0001), whereas enteral protein intake was similar (3.2 ± 0.27 vs 3.1 ± 0.23 g/kg/day).
Weight gain velocity was greater in the infants in the intervention group with mild or moderate BPD (14.7 ± 1.38 vs 11.5 ± 2 g/kg/day, p < 0.0001) and in those with severe BPD (11.9 ± 2.9 vs 8.9 ± 2.3 g/kg/day; p < 0.007). The percentage of infants with post-natal growth retardation at 36 weeks of gestational age was higher in the historical group (75.3 vs 47.4; p = 0.02).
Conclusions
On the basis of the above findings, it seems that improved nutritional management promotes post-natal ponderal growth in pre-term infants with BPD.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1471-2431-14-235) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-14-235
PMCID: PMC4177697  PMID: 25241811
Pre-term infants; Bronchopulmonary dysplasia; Growth; Nutrition
3.  Randomized outcome trial of nutrient-enriched formula and neurodevelopment outcome in preterm infants 
BMC Pediatrics  2014;14:74.
Background
Preterm infants are at risk for adverse neurodevelopment. Furthermore, nutrition may play a key role in supporting neurodevelopment. The aim of this study was to evaluate whether a nutrient-enriched formula fed to preterm infants after hospital discharge could improve their neurodevelopment at 24 months (term-corrected age).
Methods
We conducted an observer-blinded, single-center, randomized controlled trial in infants admitted to the Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, University of Milan, Italy between 2009 and 2011. Inclusion criteria were gestational age < 32 weeks and/or birth weight < 1500 g, and being fed human milk for < 20% of the total milk intake. Exclusion criteria were congenital malformations or conditions that could interfere with growth or body composition. Included infants were randomized to receive a standard full-term formula or a nutrient-enriched formula up until 6 months of corrected age, using two computer-generated randomization lists; one appropriate for gestational age (AGA) and one for small for gestational age (SGA) infants. We assessed neurodevelopment at 24 months of corrected age using the Griffiths Mental Development Scale and related subscales (locomotor, personal-social, hearing and speech, hand and eye coordination, and performance).
Results
Of the 207 randomized infants, 181 completed the study. 52 AGA and 35 SGA infants were fed a nutrient-enriched formula, whereas 56 AGA and 38 SGA infants were fed a standard full-term formula. The general quotient at 24 months of corrected age was not significantly different between infants randomized to receive a nutrient-enriched formula compared with a standard term formula up until 6 months of corrected age (AGA infants: 93.8 ± 12.6 vs. 92.4 ± 10.4, respectively; SGA infants: 96.1 ± 9.9 vs. 98.2 ± 9, respectively). The scores of related subscales were also similar among groups.
Conclusions
This study found that feeding preterm infants a nutrient-enriched formula after discharge does not affect neurodevelopment at 24 months of corrected age, in either AGA or SGA infants, free from major comorbidities.
Trial registration
Current Controlled Trials (http://www.controlled-trials.com/ISRCTN30189842) London, UK.
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-14-74
PMCID: PMC3994650  PMID: 24645671
Preterm infants; Neurodevelopment; Nutrient-enriched formula; Post discharge nutrition
4.  The influence of a formula supplemented with dairy lipids and plant oils on the erythrocyte membrane omega-3 fatty acid profile in healthy full-term infants: a double-blind randomized controlled trial 
BMC Pediatrics  2012;12:164.
Background
Human milk is the optimal nutrition for infants. When breastfeeding is not possible, supplementation of infant formula with long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids appears to promote neurodevelopmental outcome and visual function. Plant oils, that are the only source of fat in most of infant formulas, do not contain specific fatty acids that are present in human and cow milk and do not encounter milk fat triglyceride structure. Experimental data suggest that a mix of dairy lipids and plant oils can potentiate endogenous synthesis of n-3 long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids. This trial aims to determine the effect of an infant formula supplemented with a mixture of dairy lipids and plant oils on the erythrocyte membrane omega-3 fatty acid profile in full-term infants (primary outcome). Erythrocyte membrane long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and fatty acids content, the plasma lipid profile and the insulin-growth factor 1 level, the gastrointestinal tolerance, the changes throughout the study in blood fatty acids content, in growth and body composition are evaluated as secondary outcomes.
Methods/Design
In a double-blind controlled randomized trial, 75 healthy full-term infants are randomly allocated to receive for four months a formula supplemented with a mixture of dairy lipids and plant oils or a formula containing only plant oils or a formula containing plant oils supplemented with arachidonic acid and docosahexaenoic acid. Twenty-five breast-fed infants constitute the reference group. Erythrocyte membrane omega-3 fatty acid profile, long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and the other fatty acids content, the plasma lipid profile and the insulin-growth factor 1 level are measured after four months of intervention. Gastrointestinal tolerance, the changes in blood fatty acids content, in growth and body composition, assessed by means of an air displacement plethysmography system, are also evaluated throughout the study.
Discussion
The achievement of an appropriate long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids status represents an important goal in neonatal nutrition. Gaining further insight in the effects of the supplementation of a formula with dairy lipids and plant oils in healthy full-term infants could help to produce a formula whose fat content, composition and structure is more similar to human milk.
Trial registration
ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier NCT01611649
doi:10.1186/1471-2431-12-164
PMCID: PMC3480864  PMID: 23072617
Full-term infants; Formula supplementation; Dairy lipids; Erythrocyte membrane omega-3 fatty acid profile

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