Multicenter Evaluation of Pre-operative Feeding in Infants with Ductal Dependent Circulation

Jamie Penk*, Will Cagle, Adrian Holloway, Julie Connolly, Alison Miles, Rupal Bhakta, Parag Jain, Sarah Prochaska Davis, Christine Riley, Dantin Jeramy Roddy

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Enteral feeds are often withheld from neonates with ductal dependent cardiac lesions who are receiving prostaglandins. This is despite positive benefits of enteral feeding. We describe a multicenter cohort of these neonates who were fed pre-operatively. We also give a granular description of vital sign measurements and other risk factors prior to feeding. A retrospective chart review was performed at seven centers. Inclusion criteria were full-term neonates under one month of age with ductal dependent lesions receiving prostaglandins. These neonates were fed for at least 24 h during the pre-operative period. Premature neonates were excluded. Using the inclusion criteria, 127 neonates were identified. While being fed, 20.5% of the neonates were intubated, 10.2% were on inotropes, and 55.9% had an umbilical arterial catheter in place. Median oxygen saturations in the six hours prior to feeding were 92.5% in patients with cyanotic lesions, median diastolic blood pressure was 38 mmHg and median somatic NIRS were 66.5%. The median peak daily feeding volume reached was 29 ml/kg/day (IQ range 15.5–96.8 ml/kg/day). One patient developed suspected necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in this cohort. Only one adverse event occurred, which was an aspiration thought to be related to feeding, but did not result in intubation or cessation of feeds. NEC was rare among neonates with ductal dependent lesions while receiving enteral nutrition pre-operatively. Umbilical arterial catheters were in place in the majority of these patients. Hemodynamic measures demonstrated a high median oxygen saturation prior to initiation of feeds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPediatric cardiology
StateAccepted/In press - 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Ductal dependent congenital heart disease
  • Enteral feeding
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Pre-operative feeding
  • Prostaglandin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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