Three-year growth trajectories and catch-up patterns in extremely low birth weight infants: a focus on early nutritional interventions

Three-year growth trajectories and catch-up patterns in extremely low birth weight infants: a focus on early nutritional interventions

Authors

  • Ashraf T Soliman Department of Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  • Fawzia Alyafei Department of Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  • Vincenzo De Sanctis Pediatric and Adolescent Outpatient Clinic, Private Accredited Quisisana Hospital, Ferrara, Italy
  • Nada Alaaraj Department of Neonatology, Women Wellness and Research Center, Doha, Qatar
  • Noor Hamed Department of Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  • Shayma Ahmed Department of Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
  • Hamdy Ali Department of Neonatology, Women Wellness and Research Center, Doha, Qatar
  • Mohamed Alkuwari Department of General Pediatrics, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar

Keywords:

Extremely low birth weight, infants, postnatal growth, weight, length, head circumference

Abstract

Introduction: Growth trajectories of preterm infants, particularly those with extremely low birth weight (ELBW) defined as less than 750 grams, are notably complex and highly variable. Objective: We tracked the growth patterns of 35 ELBW infants born in a tertiary care facility, fed with preterm formula for the first 3-6 months of life. Results: ELBW infants showed significant initial deficits in weight, length, and head circumference, yet demonstrated considerable catch-up growth over 3 years. The initial mean weight-for-age Z-score (WAZ) was - 8.70, a stark deviation from the median of the reference population. By 36 months, the WAZ improved to -1.24, although 25.7% of infants continued to be underweight. The length-for-age Z-score (LAZ) began at -9.95, indicative of a pronounced deficiency in length, but by the third year, it had markedly improved to -0.35, with 11.4% of infants still measuring below the norm. The weight-for-length Z-score (WLZ) was initially -19.41, suggesting acute malnutrition; however, it fluctuated and improved to -1.75 by 36 months, with 31.4% of the cohort still at risk for malnutrition. Head circumference-for-age Z-score (HCZ) showed an initial value of -9.52 and improved to -1.75 by 36 months, but recovery in head growth was slower, with 6 out of 35 infants remaining below the reference curve.  Conclusion: Our findings reveal that ELBW infants exhibit significant improvements in WAZ, LAZ, WLZ, and HCZ over a period of three years, with most of the catch-up growth occurring within the first year, and LAZ continuing to improve into the third year. 

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Published

21-06-2024

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Section

PEDIATRICS AND ADOLESCENT MEDICINE

How to Cite

1.
Soliman AT, Alyafei F, De Sanctis V, Alaaraj N, Hamed N, Ahmed S, et al. Three-year growth trajectories and catch-up patterns in extremely low birth weight infants: a focus on early nutritional interventions. Acta Biomed [Internet]. 2024 Jun. 21 [cited 2024 Jul. 20];95(3):e2024052. Available from: https://www.mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/actabiomedica/article/view/15510