Hyperglycemia after birth is common in extremely preterm infants (<28 weeks of gestation). Lower gestational age, lower birthweight, presence of severe illness, and higher parenteral glucose intake increase the risk for hyperglycemia, while provision of higher amounts of amino acids and lipids in parenteral nutrition and early initiation and faster achievement of full enteral feeding decrease the risk. Hyperglycemia is associated with increased mortality and morbidity in the neonatal period. Limited data show an association with long-term adverse effects on growth, neurodevelopment, and cardiovascular and metabolic health. Lowering the glucose infusion rate and administration of insulin are the 2 treatment options. Lowering the glucose infusion could lead to calorie deficits and long-term adverse effects on growth and neurodevelopment. Conversely, insulin use increases the risk for hypoglycemia and requires close blood glucose monitoring and frequent adjustments to glucose infusion and insulin dosage. Randomized trials of varying strategies of nutrient provision and/or insulin therapy and long-term follow-up are needed to improve clinical care and overall health of extremely preterm infants with hyperglycemia.
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