Enteral Nutrition in Children with Short-Bowel Syndrome: Current Evidence and Recommendations for the Clinician
The optimal enteral feeding regimen in children with short-bowel syndrome (SBS) is debated by clinicians. The purpose of this article is to present an overview of published data on feeding strategies in children with SBS. A structured literature search (years 1966 through 2007) was done to identify human studies in children directly addressing nutrition (or specified nutrients) in relation to SBS. Eight relevant studies retrieved were graded by seven experts according to the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network criteria. This grading system is based on the study design and methodological quality of individual studies. Recommendations were made based on the outcome according to the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network if appropriate and on expert opinion otherwise. The most important recommendations are:•Enteral nutrition should be initiated as soon as possible after bowel resection to promote intestinal adaptation.•Enteral nutrition should be administered in a continuous fashion.•Breast milk or standard polymeric formula (depending on the child's age) is recommended as preferred type of nutrition.•Bottle-feeding (small volumes) should be started as soon as possible in neonates to stimulate the suck and swallow reflexes. Solid food can be introduced at the age of 4 to 6 months (corrected for gestational age if necessary) to stimulate oral motor activity and to avoid feeding aversion behavior. The team of experts concluded that high-quality research on the preferred types of enteral and oral nutrition in children with SBS is scarce. Multicenter prospective studies on the effects of feeding strategies on bowel adaptation, fecal production, linear growth, and clinical outcome are required to find the optimal feeding regimen in children with SBS.