J Clin Nutr.  2020 Dec;12(2):26-33. 10.15747/jcn.2020.12.2.26.

Effect of Nutritional Intervention by the Nutrition Support Team on Postnatal Growth in Preterm Infants

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
  • 2Department of Pediatrics, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 3Department of Nutrition, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea
  • 44 Department of Pharmacy, Gangnam Severance Hospital, Seoul, Korea


Nutritional intervention by an interdisciplinary nutrition support team (NST) can potentially improve postnatal growth outcomes in preterm infants. This study aimed to measure the growth impact of a nutritional intervention package performed by an NST in a quality improvement effort in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Fifty-two infants born below 2,000 g and admitted to NICU participated in the Quality Improvement (QI) program between March 2016 and February 2017. The nutritional intervention was applied according to newly established nutritional guidelines on parenteral and enteral nutrition, and an NST performed a weekly nutritional assessment. The Z-scores of weight, height, and head circumference were calculated according to the gestational age and sex. The clinical impact on postnatal growth was compared between the QI and pre-QI groups. The pre-QI group included 69 infants admitted in the same NICU between 2014 and 2015.
The time to the initiation of enteral nutrition decreased significantly (P<0.001). Changes in weight (P=0.027), head circumference (P=0.003), Z-scores between birth, and 40 weeks postconceptional age (PCA) were significantly larger in the QI than the pre-QI group. The percentage of infants weighing below the 10th percentile at one month after birth and at 40 weeks PCA was higher in the pre-QI than the QI group.
The implementation of evidence-based best practices for preterm nutrition resulted in significant improvements in the growth outcomes in preterm infants.


Premature infant; Quality improvement; Nutritional support; Growth
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