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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.  Oats in the Diet of Children with Celiac Disease: Preliminary Results of a Double-Blind, Randomized, Placebo-Controlled Multicenter Italian Study 
Nutrients  2013;5(11):4653-4664.
A gluten-free diet (GFD) is currently the only available treatment for patients with celiac disease (CD). Several clinical trials have demonstrated that most celiac patients can tolerate a medium-high quantity of oats without any negative clinical effects; however, the inclusion of oats in GFD is still a matter of debate. In this study, Italian children with CD were enrolled in a 15-month, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial. Participants were randomized in two groups following either A-B treatment (6 months of diet “A”, 3 months of standard GFD, 6 months of diet “B”), or B-A treatment (6 months of diet “B”, 3 months of standard GFD, 6 months of diet “A”). A and B diets included gluten-free (GF) products (flour, pasta, biscuits, cakes and crisp toasts) with either purified oats or placebo. Clinical data (Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rate Scale [GSRS] score) and intestinal permeability tests (IPT), were measured through the study period. Although the study is still blinded, no significant differences were found in GSRS score or the urinary lactulose/mannitol (L/M) ratio between the two groups after 6 months of treatment. These preliminary results suggest that the addition of non-contaminated oats from selected varieties in the treatment of children with CD does not determine changes in intestinal permeability and gastrointestinal symptoms.
doi:10.3390/nu5114653
PMCID: PMC3847754  PMID: 24264227
: oats; celiac disease; gluten-free diet; intestinal permeability; gastrointestinal symptoms
5.  Implementation of Nutritional Strategies Decreases Postnatal Growth Restriction in Preterm Infants 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e51166.
Background
Prevention of postnatal growth restriction of very preterm infants still represents a challenge for neonatologists. As standard feeding regimens have proven to be inadequate. Improved feeding strategies are needed to promote growth. Aim of the present study was to evaluate whether a set of nutritional strategies could limit the postnatal growth restriction of a cohort of preterm infants.
Methodology/Principal Findings
We performed a prospective non randomized interventional cohort study. Growth and body composition were assessed in 102 very low birth weight infants after the introduction of a set of nutritional practice changes. 69 very low birth weight infants who had received nutrition according to the standard nutritional feeding strategy served as a historical control group. Weight was assessed daily, length and head circumference weekly. Body composition at term corrected age was assessed using an air displacement plethysmography system. The cumulative parenteral energy and protein intakes during the first 7 days of life were higher in the intervention group than in the historical group (530±81 vs 300±93 kcal/kg, p<0.001 and 21±2.9 vs 15±3.2 g/kg, p<0.01). During weaning from parenteral nutrition, the intervention group received higher parental/enteral energy and protein intakes than the historical control group (1380±58 vs 1090±70 kcal/kg; 52.6±7 vs 42.3±10 g/kg, p<0.01). Enteral energy (kcal/kg/d) and protein (g/kg/d) intakes in the intervention group were higher than in the historical group (130±11 vs 100±13; 3.5±0.5 vs 2.2±0.6, p<0.01). The negative changes in z score from birth to discharge for weight and head circumference were significantly lower in the intervention group as compared to the historical group. No difference in fat mass percentage between the intervention and the historical groups was found.
Conclusions
The optimization and the individualization of nutritional intervention promote postnatal growth of preterm infants without any effect on percentage of fat mass.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0051166
PMCID: PMC3515560  PMID: 23227249
6.  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
7.  Tolerance and Safety Evaluation in a Large Cohort of Healthy Infants Fed an Innovative Prebiotic Formula: A Randomized Controlled Trial 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e28010.
Background
the addition of oligosaccharides to infant formula has been shown to mimic some of the beneficial effects of human milk. The aim of the study was to assess the tolerance and safety of a formula containing an innovative mixture of oligosaccharides in early infancy.
Methodology/Principal Findings
this study was performed as a multi-center, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial including healthy term infants. Infants were recruited before the age of 8 weeks, either having started with formula feeding or being fully breast-fed (breastfeeding group). Formula-fed infants were randomized to feeding with a regular formula containing a mixture of neutral oligosaccharides and pectin-derived acidic oligosaccharides (prebiotic formula group) or regular formula without oligosaccharides (control formula group). Growth, tolerance and adverse events were assessed at 8, 16, 24 and 52 weeks of age. The prebiotic and control groups showed similar mean weight, length and head circumference, skin fold thicknesses, arm circumference gains and stool frequency at each study point. As far as the anthropometric parameters are concerned, the prebiotic group and the control group did not attain the values shown by the breastfeeding group at any study point. The skin fold thicknesses assessed in the breastfeeding group at 8 weeks were strikingly larger than those in formula fed infants, whereas at 52 weeks were strikingly smaller. The stool consistency in the prebiotic group was softer than in the control group at 8, 16 and 24 weeks (p<0.001) and closer to that of the breastfeeding group. There was no difference in the incidence of adverse events between the two formula groups.
Conclusions
our findings demonstrate the tolerability and the long term safety of a formula containing an innovative mixture of oligosaccharides in a large cohort of healthy infants.
Trial Registration:
drks-neu.uniklinik-freiburg.de DRKS 00000201
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0028010
PMCID: PMC3227609  PMID: 22140499
8.  Rapid Recovery of Fat Mass in Small for Gestational Age Preterm Infants after Term 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(1):e14489.
Background
Preterm small for gestational age (SGA) infants may be at risk for increased adiposity, especially when experiencing rapid postnatal weight gain. Data on the dynamic features of body weight and fat mass (FM) gain that occurs early in life is scarce. We investigated the postnatal weight and FM gain during the first five months after term in a cohort of preterm infants.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Changes in growth parameters and FM were prospectively monitored in 195 infants with birth weight ≤1500 g. The infants were categorized as born adequate for gestational age (AGA) without growth retardation at term (GR−), born AGA with growth retardation at term (GR+), born SGA. Weight and FM were assessed by an air displacement plethysmography system. At five months, weight z-score was comparable between the AGA (GR+) and the AGA (GR−), whereas the SGA showed a significantly lower weight.The mean weight (g) differences (95% CI) between SGA and AGA (GR−) and between SGA and AGA (GR+) infants at 5 months were −613 (−1215; −12) and −573 (−1227; −79), respectively. At term, the AGA (GR+) and the SGA groups showed a significantly lower FM than the AGA (GR−) group. In the first three months, change in FM was comparable between the AGA (GR+) and the SGA groups and significantly higher than that of the AGA (GR−) group.The mean difference (95% CI) in FM change between SGA and AGA (GR−) and between AGA (GR+) and AGA (GR−) from term to 3 months were 38.6 (12; 65); and 37.7 (10; 65). At three months, the FM was similar in all groups.
Conclusions
Our data suggests that fetal growth pattern influences the potential to rapidly correct anthropometry whereas the restoration of fat stores takes place irrespective of birth weight. The metabolic consequences of these findings need to be elucidated.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0014489
PMCID: PMC3016317  PMID: 21245927
9.  Relationship between in utero sonographic evaluation and subcutaneous plicometry after birth in infants with intrauterine growth restriction: an exploratory study 
Background
Intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) is associated with several medical complications before and after delivery. The aim of this study was to evaluate the concordance between the fetal ultrasonographic measurement of subcutaneous tissue thicknesses and the skinfold thicknesses assessment in intrauterine growth restricted newborns.
Methods
We designed an exploratory study. Fetal ultrasonographic measurement of subcutaneous tissue thicknesses, according to Bernstein's and Galan's method, and neonatal skinfold thicknesses were evaluated in 13 intrauterine growth restricted newborns within 4 hours before delivery and on the first day of life, respectively. Concordance between fetal and neonatal measurements was assessed using the Lin's correlation coefficient and the Bland-Altman method.
Results
The data obtained by the measurements of neonatal skinfold thicknesses was significantly correlated with the prenatal measurements (Lin's coefficients, arm: 0.60; subscapular: 0.72; abdomen: 0.51). Bland-Altman analysis showed moderate agreement between the fetal ultrasonographic measurement of subcutaneous tissue thicknesses and the neonatal skinfold thicknesses assessment.
Conclusions
The present study provides preliminary evidence that fetal sonographic measurements may represent additional indices of intrauterine growth restriction.
doi:10.1186/1824-7288-36-70
PMCID: PMC2984416  PMID: 20977731

Results 1-9 (9)