Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society

2014 Research Abstract

Defining the Role of Gut Hormones in Feeding Intolerance in Premature Neonates

Investigator: Kristen Hart, Boston University School of Medicine

Mentor: Camilia Martin, MD, MS

Background: Feeding intolerance (FI), defined as delayed advancement to full enteral feedings, in the preterm infant leads to growth failure and may play a role in the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis, the leading gastrointestinal cause of death in the NICU.

Methods: Serum gut hormone (GH) levels in 64 preterm infants born at < 30 weeks gestational age (GA) were measured on day of birth and at postnatal day 7 (Millipore, USA). Univariate linear regression was performed between GH levels and GA and between GH levels and days to full feedings.

Results: Mean GA was 28.1 ± 1.3 weeks and birth weight 1038.6 ± 276.6 grams. Leptin and gastrointestinal inhibitory peptide (GIP) on the day of birth (p=.04; p=.006) and leptin and pancreatic polypeptide (PP) at day 7 (p=.004; p=.01) were positively correlated with GA. Higher PP levels on the day of birth (p=.02) were correlated with FI while lower levels of GIP, polypeptide YY (PYY) and glucagon-¬like peptide 2 (GLP¬2) at day 7 (p=.001; p=.0001; p=.03) were associated with FI independent of GA.

Conclusions: While some gut hormones are markers of gestational maturity, others are independent of GA and thus are potential biomarkers in predicting FI in preterm infants. In the latter, lower levels of GIP, PYY, and GLP¬2 at day 7 may predict impaired neuroendocrine responses and lack of intestinal growth in infants who are at risk of FI. Future multivariate analyses will adjust for the influence of nutritional parameters on GH levels.

Last modified: 8/14/2015

Updated on August 14, 2015.

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