Growth and Neurodevelopment Outcome Among Preterm and Very Low Birth Weight Neonates Given Early Aggressive Amino Acid Therapy Admitted in the NICU of a Tertiary Hospital


Long-term outcomes of preterm and very low birth weight (VLBW) infants have been the focus of published research due to improved neonatal care. One of the long-term morbidities associated with being born too early or VLBW is postnatal growth failure and neurodevelopment delay. Because of this, different strategies were implemented to address this, one of which is initiating early aggressive amino acid therapy at 3 g/kg/day within 24 hours of life with its goal to improve previously mentioned outcomes. This study aims to determine the growth and neurodevelopment outcome among neonates born preterm and VLBW who were given 3 g/kg/day of amino acid. It is important that such delays are detected early on so that appropriate interventions can be initiated to maximize the infant's capabilities. A total of 34 neonates were included in the study where baseline anthropometrics were taken and followed up at the 6th, 9th, and 12th month of corrected age. Results showed 35.2% of the participants were discharged with their anthropometrics below the target range. By the 6th month of corrected age, only 2.94% were below normal and by the 9th month of corrected age, all participants have normal for age anthropometrics. As for the neurodevelopment aspect, 4 of 34 participants (13.8%) were found to be classified as emerging risk and were referred to a neurodevelopment specialist. By the 9th month of corrected age, only 2 were classified as emerging risk and by the 12th month of corrected age, only 1 remained to be at risk for neurodevelopment delay. In conclusion, early aggressive amino acid therapy proves to have a positive effect in the growth and neurodevelopment outcome among preterm and VLBW infants. However, we would like to recommend continued monitoring of neurodevelopment in neonates from this population until 2 years of age, since some delays can be evident later on in life. 

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