Feed-related Splanchnic Oxygenation in Preterm Infants With Abnormal Antenatal Doppler Developing Gut Complications

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Preterm infants with antenatal absent or reversed end diastolic flow (AREDF) in umbilical arteries are at major risk for gastrointestinal (GI) complications, such as necrotizing enterocolitis, intestinal perforation and feeding intolerance. Near-infrared spectroscopy provides continuous monitoring of splanchnic oxygenation (SrSO2) and may represent a useful tool to predict GI outcomes in this high-risk population. This observational, pilot study assessed feed-related SrSO2 patterns at enteral feeding introduction and full enteral feeding (FEF) achievement in twenty AREDF infants with gestational age ≤34 weeks. Enrolled infants were divided into 2 groups according to the development versus lack of GI complications. Infants developing GI complications showed significantly lower SrSO2 and increased splanchnic oxygen extraction in response to enteral feeds at both enteral feeding introduction and FEF. The potential role of these findings in predicting GI complications in AREDF preterm infants seems promising and deserves further evaluation.

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