Gastric Emptying of Preterm Neonates Receiving Domperidone
AuthorGounaris, A.; Costalos, C.; Varchalama, E.; Kokori, F.; Grivea, I. N.; Konstantinidi, K.; Syrogiannopoulos, G. A.
Objectives: Immature gut motility in very low birth weight infants causes feeding intolerance. We evaluated the effect of domperidone, a prokinetic agent, on gastric emptying in very low birth weight infants. Methods: The study was conducted in a crossover design. Gastric emptying was assessed ultrasonographically by measuring the time it took the antral cross sectional area of the stomach to reach half of the value of the 1st measurement on 2 occasions: (1) upon administration of domperidone (0.3 mg/kg/8 h p.o.) for at least 2 days and (2) while patients received an equal quantity of sterile water. 11 infants were randomly assigned to receive domperidone before the 1st measurement and the remaining afterwards. There was a 3-5 day interval between the 2 measurements. At the time when both measurements were performed, every neonate had been receiving the same quantity and quality of milk. 12 infants were formula-fed while 10 were fed their own mother's supplemented milk. Results: 22 infants with a mean (SD) birth weight of 1,377 g (319) and a mean (SD) gestational age of 30.2 weeks (2.1) were studied. The mean (SD) antral cross sectional area half-value time (in minutes) was 47.6 (23.9) in the domperidone group and 68.2 (25.5) in the control group (p = 0.008). There was no significant difference between formula-fed neonates and neonates fed their own mother's milk in either group. Conclusions: Domperidone significantly reduces gastric emptying in preterm neonates, and this may account for its effect in cases of disturbances related to gut motility. Copyright (C) 2009 S. Karger AG, Basel