The effects of illness on neonatal metabolism and nutritional management

T. M. Wahlig, M. K. Georgieff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


In summary, careful attention to nutrient delivery in the IUGR infant is important to prevent and treat neonatal metabolic derangements and to improve postnatal growth. Carbohydrates are the essential fuel in the first days of life, to prevent hypoglycemia. Subsequent delivery of protein and fat helps rectify reduced muscle and fat stores and promotes weight gain. Calcium supplementation to prevent further bone demineralization and iron supplementation to replete iron stores may be necessary. Of special interest is that the neurologic outcome of these infants appears linked to the rate of catch-up growth. The rate of postnatal head growth depends on many perinatal and neonatal risk factors, and is a strong predictor of early developmental outcome in low-birthweight infants. Insufficient energy delivery beyond 2 weeks postnatal age in SGA premature infants results in failure to initiate subsequent catch-up head growth, with consequently smaller head circumferences at 1-year follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)77-96
Number of pages20
JournalClinics in Perinatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1995


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