Objective: To determine whether feeding progression patterns in the first eight postnatal weeks, depicted by clustering analysis of daily enteral feeding volume, are associated with longitudinal head-circumference (HC) growth and neurodevelopmental outcomes in extremely preterm (EP) infants. Methods: 200 infants who were admitted at gestational ages 23–27 weeks between 2011 and 2018; survived to discharge; and underwent longitudinal HC growth measurements at birth, term-equivalent age (TEA), corrected age (CA) 6-month, 12-month, and 24-month; and neurodevelopmental assessment using the Bayley Scales of Infant Development at CA 24 months were included for analysis. Results: kmlShape analysis identified two distinct enteral feeding progression patterns: fast progression in 131 (66%) infants and slow progression in 69 (34%) infants. Compared to the fast progression group, the slow progression group showed significantly lower daily enteral volumes after day 13, was older in postnatal age reaching full feeding, had a higher rate of Delta z scores of HC (zHC) < −1 (p < 0.001) between birth and TEA, and displayed lower longitudinal zHC from TEA to CA 24 months. The slow progression group also showed higher rates of microcephaly [42% vs. 16%, p < 0.001; adjusted odd ratio (aOR): 3.269, p = 0.001] and neurodevelopmental impairment (NDI) (38% vs. 19%, p = 0.007; aOR: 2.095, p = 0.035) at CA 24 months. For NDI, the model including feeding progression patterns showed a lower Akaike information criterion score and a better goodness of fit than the model that did not include feeding patterns. Conclusion: Characterizing feeding progression pattern may help identify EP infants at high-risk of head-size growth faltering and NDI at early childhood.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics