Glucose concentrations in enterally fed preterm infants

J Perinatol. 2020 Dec;40(12):1834-1840. doi: 10.1038/s41372-020-0754-6. Epub 2020 Aug 5.


Objectives: Determine the prevalence of glucose concentrations below the Pediatric Endocrine Society (PES) term and late preterm-focused guideline target for mean glucose concentrations (≥70 mg/dL) among preterm NICU infants on full enteral nutrition and assess the impact on monitoring practices.

Study design: Retrospective cohort study.

Results: We analyzed 1717 infants who were at least 2 days old and 48 hours after parenteral fluids were discontinued. Glucose concentrations were ≥70, 60-69, 50-59, and <50 mg/dL in 76.6, 16.2, 5.9, and 1.3% of measurements, respectively. In multivariate models, concentrations <60 mg/dL were common among male infants at lower postnatal age, small-for-gestational age, and born to women with hypertension (p < 0.05). After PES guideline, infants were more likely to have >3 glucose measurements (p < 0.05).

Conclusions: Glucose concentrations <70 mg/dL are not uncommon among preterm infants receiving full enteral nutrition. Monitoring increased after guideline publication. Applying PES threshold to well-appearing preterm infants may promote increased monitoring and intervention without clear long-term benefit.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Female
  • Glucose
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature*
  • Male
  • Parenteral Nutrition*
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Glucose