Establishing the different feeding trajectories based on daily enteral feeding data in preterm infants at different gestational ages (GAs), may help to identify the risks and extrauterine growth restriction (EUGR) outcomes associated with the adverse feeding pattern. In a single center, we retrospectively included 625 infants born at 23–30 weeks of gestation who survived to term-equivalent age (TEA) from 2009 to 2020. The infants were designated into three GA groups: 23–26, 27–28, and 29–30 weeks. The daily enteral feeding amounts in the first 56 postnatal days were analyzed to determine the feeding trajectories. The primary outcomes were EUGR in body weight and head circumference calculated, respectively, by the changes between birth and TEA. Clustering analysis identified two feeding trajectories, namely the improving and adverse patterns in each GA group. The adverse feeding pattern that occurred in 49%, 20%, and 17% of GA 23–26, 27–28, and 29–30 weeks, respectively, was differentiated from the improving feeding pattern as early as day 7 in infants at GA 23–26 and 27–28 weeks, in contrast to day 21 in infants at GA 29–30 weeks. The adverse feeding patterns were associated with sepsis, respiratory, and gastrointestinal morbidities at GA 23–26 weeks; sepsis, hemodynamic and gastrointestinal morbidities at GA 27–28 weeks; and preeclampsia, respiratory, and gastrointestinal morbidities at GA 29–30 weeks. Using the improving feeding group as a reference, the adverse feeding group showed significantly higher adjusted odds ratios of EUGR in body weight and head circumference in infants at GA 23–26 and 27–28 weeks. Identifying the early-life adverse feeding trajectories may help recognize the related EUGR outcomes of preterm infants in a GA-related manner.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Nutrition and Dietetics