Long-term outcomes of preterm infants fed an exclusive human milk-based (EHM) diet using a donor human milk-based fortifier are not well defined. Materials and
Infants ≤1,250 g birth weight (BW) were studied prospectively at two outpatient visits: 12-15 and 18-22 months corrected age (CA). Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry and Bayley Scales of Infant and Toddler Development III (BSID-III) were performed at 18-22 months CA.
In this pilot study, 51 preterm infants (gestational age 27.8 ± 2.6 weeks and BW 893 ± 204 g) were evaluated. While anthropometric z-scores were significantly lower at discharge compared with birth, z-scores returned to birth levels by 12-15 months CA (length and head circumference [HC]) and 18-22 months CA (weight). Body composition at 2 years of age was similar to term-matched controls. Inpatient growth was significantly correlated with bone density, lean mass (LM), and fat-free mass at 18-22 months CA. Increased mother's own milk (MOM) was significantly correlated with decreased fat mass indices. BSID-III showed that 0% of cognitive composite scores were <70.
In addition to returning to BW, length, and HC z-scores by 2 years of age, body composition analysis revealed that increase in body size was appropriate as reflected by LM and bone density similar to matched term controls without an increase in fat mass. No child had severe cognitive developmental delay using a cutoff score of 70. Inpatient growth and increased receipt of MOM correlated with favorable growth and body composition outcomes. Positive outcomes as shown in this study to confirm postdischarge safety of an EHM diet during hospitalization.