Standard Polymeric Formula Tube Feeding in Neurologically Impaired Children: A Five-Year Retrospective Study
Pediatric Gastroenterology and Cystic Fibrosis Unit, Department of Human Pathology in Adulthood and Childhood “G. Barresi”, University of Messina, 98123 Messina, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2018, 10(6), 684; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060684
Received: 15 April 2018 / Revised: 22 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 28 May 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition in Pediatric Gastroenterology: Selected Papers from SIGENP)
Malnutrition is frequent in neurologically impaired (NI) children. Enteral feeding via gastrostomy tube is increasingly being used to provide adequate nutrition. Our aim was to assess the outcomes of exclusive gastrostomy tube feeding with standard polymeric formula in children with NI, severe oro-motor dysfunction, and malnutrition, and to investigate the role of the underlying NI-associated disease. A five-year retrospective study from January 2013 to November 2017 was conducted. The primary aim was to assess the nutritional outcomes of exclusive gastrostomy tube feeding with standard polymeric formula in malnourished NI children. The secondary aim was to investigate gastrostomy complications and the impact of the underlying NI-associated disease on the nutritional outcomes. We enrolled 110 consecutive children with NI. Of these patients, 34.5% (N = 38) were categorized as malnourished and started exclusive enteral feeding with a standard (1.0 kcal/mL) polymeric formula (Nutrini, Nutricia) after percutaneous endoscopic gastrostomy (PEG) placement. Seventy-three percent of patients (N = 28) had cerebral palsy (CP); other diagnoses included metabolic (13%, N = 5) and genetic (13%, N = 5) diseases. Tricep skinfold thickness had significantly improved in all patients at 12-months follow-up, while body weight and body mass index showed significant increases mainly in children with CP. No serious complications occurred. We found that standard polymeric formula via gastrostomy tube represents a safe and efficient nutritional intervention in children with NI and malnutrition.