Background: Aspiration pneumonia is a common complication of overfeeding in neonates. Since overfeeding may be related to neonatal stomach capacity, it was considered worthwhile to obtain such data.
Aims: To measure the capacity of stomach obtained from fresh stillbirths and liveborn infants at autopsy and correlate the same with their birth weights.
Methods: Stomach capacity was measured at autopsy in 63 stillborn and 37 newborn infants with birth weights ranging from 500 g to 3500 g.
Results: Stomach capacity had a significant positive correlation with birth weight (r = 0.56, p < 0.001). A formula and a nomogram have been derived to estimate stomach capacity from birth weight. There was no significant difference in stomach capacity between liveborn and stillborn infants in any of the weight groups, except in the 1501-2000 g weight group (p < 0.001).
Conclusions: Our results have provided normative data on stomach capacity across a wide birth weight range in the perinatal period.