Differences between metabolism and feeding of preterm and term infants

Scott C. Denne, Brenda B. Poindexter

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

2 Scopus citations


Understanding differences in nutrient metabolism between premature and termneonates has important implications for the nutritional management of these infants in the neonatal intensive care unit. Prematurity and critical illness can impact the response to nutrient intake. Providing optimal nutritional support of both premature and critically ill neonates born at term remains an elusive challenge to neonatologists. Although less than 20% of extremely-low-birth-weight infants (ELBW) (<1000 g birth weight) are small for gestational age at the time of birth, growth failure is nearly universal by the time these infants approach discharge from the hospital.1 The long-term impact that early nutritional deficiencies may have on growth and neurodevelopment is only beginning to be appreciated. It would seem obvious that there are substantial differences in metabolism between preterm and term infants, yet precisely defining those differences is surprisingly challenging. Metabolic studies in preterm and term infants have often been carried out using different techniques and under varied clinical circumstances, making comparisons difficult. Furthermore, information in normal term infants is often limited. Nevertheless, understanding developmental differences is fundamental to providing appropriate nutritional and metabolic support to preterm and term infants. This chapter will focus on presenting the differences between preterm and term infants with regard to protein, glucose, and energy metabolism. Protein metabolism A first step in understanding protein requirements is to assess protein losses under basal conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationNeonatal Nutrition and Metabolism, Second Edition
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780511544712
ISBN (Print)0521824559, 9780521824552
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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    Denne, S. C., & Poindexter, B. B. (2006). Differences between metabolism and feeding of preterm and term infants. In Neonatal Nutrition and Metabolism, Second Edition (pp. 437-444). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511544712.030