The effect of different types of nutrition on the gastrointestinal response of the preterm infant
Delayed gastric emptying often impacts the progression of feeding in preterm infants, yet the impact of feed composition is not well understood. A sonographic method of assessing gastric volume and contents was validated and used to explore repeatability and the effects of breastmilk composition on emptying.
Patterns of gastric emptying are highly repeatable. Breastmilk of higher casein, whey and lactose concentrations empties faster, while fortified milk and pasteurized donor human milk (PDHM) empty more slowly than unfortified mother’s own milk (MOM). Intragastric curding of MOM and PDHM are similar. Objective measures of gastric emptying may improve assessment of the preterm gastrointestinal response.
Why my research is important
My research provides sensitive and clinically accessible tool that can potentially be used to establish normal patterns of gastric emptying, evaluate feeding tolerance of milk feeds with different fortification or pasteurization methods, identify precursors to clinical signs of disease, and to monitor gastrointestinal complications in the preterm population.