Objective: To establish the accuracy of the creamatocrit (CRCT) for estimating lipid and calories in a heterogeneous sample of own mothers' milk (OMM) in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), using a hematocrit reader, rather than fine vernier calipers.
Study design: In this blinded study, CRCT techniques were performed on 32 fresh OMM samples (7 foremilk, 12 hindmilk, 13 composite milk) that were also analyzed for total lipid and caloric concentration.
Results: Mean lipid and caloric concentrations for the OMM samples were 50.87 g/l (28.3-86.5) and 703.96 kcal/l (477.2-1183.6), respectively. Results revealed a stronger linear relationship between CRCT and total lipid (r=0.94; p<0.001) than between CRCT and caloric density (r=0.76; p<0.001).
Conclusion: The CRCT, using a hematocrit reader, is an accurate, inexpensive, and useful technique for estimating the lipid and caloric concentration of individual OMM samples in the NICU. The variability in lipid and calories in these 32 OMM samples underscores the utility of this technique.