The effects of high-energy feeding on energy balance and growth in infants with congenital heart disease and failure to thrive

Br J Nutr. 1991 Mar;65(2):131-43. doi: 10.1079/bjn19910075.


Failure to thrive (FTT) in infants with congenital heart disease (CHD) can be attributed to their low energy intakes and high resting energy expenditures. Energy intake, energy expenditure and growth were studied in infants with CHD on normal formula feeds and then on feeds supplemented with glucose polymer to see whether supplementation improved energy retention and growth. Mean gross energy intakes increased by 31.7% on high-energy feeding and mean weight gain improved from 1.3 g/kg per d on control to 5.8 g/kg per d on high-energy feeding. Resting oxygen consumption (VO2 ml/kg per min) was not significantly different on the two feeding regimens, although respiratory quotient rose on high-energy feeding reflecting the increased carbohydrate intake. Estimated energy costs of growth on high-energy feeding fell within the previously described range for normal infants. It is recommended that infants with CHD known to be associated with FTT are fed on high-energy diets from the time of diagnosis in order to optimize growth.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Energy Metabolism / physiology*
  • Failure to Thrive / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Growth / physiology*
  • Heart Defects, Congenital / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Food
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Pulmonary Gas Exchange / physiology
  • Weight Gain