Postnatal body weight curves for infants below 1000 g birth weight receiving early enteral and parenteral nutrition

Eur J Pediatr. 1998 May;157(5):416-21. doi: 10.1007/s004310050842.


No body weight curves are available for preterm infants < 1000 g birth weight receiving early enteral and parenteral nutrition. Postnatal weight changes of 136 infants with a birth weight < 1000 g were analysed retrospectively. Body weight curves for the first 30 days of life were generated for five separate birth weight groups (430-599 g, 600-699 g, 700-799 g, 800-899 g, 900-999 g). All infants had received intravenous glucose and amino acids from day 1 and intravenous lipids from day 2. Enteral feeding was started on day 1. Thus caloric intake (+/-SD) was advanced to 384+/-46 kJ/kg per day (92+/-11 kcal/kg/day) in the 1st week of life. In 136 preterm infants mean postnatal weight loss was 10.1%+/-4.6% of birth weight, birth weight was regained at a mean postnatal age of 11+/-3.7 days, but significantly earlier (7.8+/-3.5 days) in the lowest compared to the highest weight group. Mean subsequent weight gain was 15.7+/-7.2 g/ kg per day. This was accomplished by exclusive enteral nutrition from day 20 (median).

Conclusion: Our body weight curves are more adequate to evaluate growth of preterm infants than older published reference values because they are based on infants treated according to current nutritional standards.

MeSH terms

  • Enteral Nutrition*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Infant, Very Low Birth Weight / growth & development*
  • Parenteral Nutrition*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Weight Gain*