Randomized Clinical Trial of Preoperative Feeding to Evaluate Intestinal Barrier Function in Neonate
To evaluate intestinal barrier function in neonates undergoing cardiac surgery using lactulose/mannitol (L/M) ratio measurements, and to determine correlations with early breast milk feeding.
This was a single-center, prospective, randomized pilot study of 27 term-born neonates (≥ 37 weeks gestation) requiring cardiac surgery who were randomized to 1 of 2 preoperative feeding groups: nil per os (NPO) or trophic (10 mL/kg/day) breast milk feeds. At 3 time points (preoperative [preop], postoperative [postop] day 7, and postop day 14), subjects were administered an oral L/M solution, after which urine L/M ratios were measured using gas chromatography, with higher ratios indicative of increased intestinal permeability. Trends over time in the mean urine L/M ratios for each group were estimated using a general linear mixed model.
There were no adverse events related to preoperative trophic feeding. In the NPO group (n = 13), the mean urine L/M ratio was 0.06 at preop, 0.12 at postop day 7, and 0.17 at postop day 14. In the trophic breast milk feeds group (n = 14), the mean urine L/M ratio was 0.09 at preop, 0.19 at postop day 7, and 0.15 at postop day 14. In both groups, L/M ratios were significantly higher at postop day 7 and postop day 14 compared with preop (P < .05).
Neonates have increased intestinal permeability after cardiac surgery extending to at least postop day 14. This pilot study was not powered to detect differences in benefit or adverse events comparing the NPO and trophic breast milk feeds groups. Further studies to identify mechanisms of intestinal injury and therapeutic interventions are warranted.
Registered with ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01475357.
Randomized Clinical Trial of Preoperative Feeding to Evaluate Intestinal Barrier Function in Neonates Requiring Cardiac Surgery