For some babies in the neonatal intensive care unit, eating doesn’t come naturally. Any infant that fails to eat orally is considered to have feeding difficulty. It’s these babies that are most at risk for lifelong feeding issues and assisted feeding methods.
Feeding difficulties can arise from a combination of gastrointestinal, esophageal, behavioral, neurological, structural, cardiorespiratory and metabolic origins. Using crib-side feeding studies, investigators at Nationwide Children's are identifying the mechanisms of feeding difficulties in neonates and young infants. These studies help transform babies into oral feeders before they leave the hospital, sparing them a lifetime of tube-assisted feedings.
Nationwide Children's is home to the only program in the world taking a multi-organ perspective to understand development of feeding disorders.
Longer and Slower Feedings Improve GER in Newborns with Feeding Difficulties
Feeding difficulties and gastroesophageal reflux (GER) are common problems in neonates.
This study found that prolonged feeding durations and slower flow rates are associated with decreased frequency of GER.
Access an abstract of this study: Impact of feeding strategies on the frequency and clearance of Acid and nonacid gastroesophageal reflux events in dysphagic neonates. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 2012 Jul;36(4):449-55.
Esophageal Disease in Pediatrics
The following on esophageal disease in pediatrics contains commentaries on acquisition of neuromuscular maturation; physiology of esophageal peristaltic and sphincteric reflexes; implications for clinical practice; and conditions that predispose to severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in children with potential risk for esophageal cancer.
Access an abstract of this study: Esophageal disease in pediatrics. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2011 Sep;1232(1):401-4. doi: 10.1111/j.1749-6632.2011.06060.x.
Esophageal Sensation in Premature Human Neonates
This study aimed to examine the effect of visceral provocation on aerodigestive reflexes, electrocortical arousals and respiratory changes in premature neonates.
Access an abstract of this study: Esophageal Sensation In Premature Human Neonates: Temporal Relationships and Implications of Aerodigestive Reflexes and Electro-Cortical Arousals. Am J Physiol Gastrointest Liver Physiol. 2011 Aug 18. [Epub ahead of print]
Study Helps Clarify Symptoms and Characteristics of Acid Reflux in Neonates
Modifying stomach acid levels may not be enough to treat symptoms in neonates suspected of having gastroesophageal reflux disease. According to a study from Nationwide Children’s Hospital, this is the first study to classify reflux and its associated symptoms in neonates based on how and what is refluxed.
Access an abstract of this study: Significance of gastroesophageal refluxate in relation to physical, chemical, and spatiotemporal characteristics in symptomatic intensive care unit neonates. Pediatr Res. 2011 Aug;70(2):192-8.
Neonatal Esophagus-Airway Interactions in Health and Disease, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Medical College of Wisconsin (Sudarshan Jadcherla)
Dr. Jacherla Appointed to American Pediatric Society
Sudarshan Jadcherla, MD, FRCP(I), DCH, has been awarded membership to the American Pediatric Society, a professional and advocacy organization with a mission to advance the study of children and their diseases and to honor those who, by their contributions to pediatrics, have aided prevention of illness and promotion of childhood health.
Dr. Jadcherla Receives Prestegious GI Award
Neonatologist Sudarshan Jadcherla, MD, FRCP(I), DCH, received the 2009 Masters Award for Basic of Clinical Research in Digestive Sciences from the American Gastroenterological Association, an award typically given to gastroenterologists. In 2008, Nationwide Children’s clinician, Carlo Di Lorenzo, MD, received the award.