Catch-up growth in children with chronic renal failure treated with long- term enteral nutrition

A. Claris-Appiani, G. L. Ardissino, V. Dacco, C. Funari, F. Terzi

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Growth retardation commonly complicates chronic renal failure in children. Although the etiology of this growth impairment is multifactorial, inadequate nutrition is considered an important cause in infants and young children. An 'aggressive' nutritional approach has been repeatedly suggested in children with early onset chronic renal failure and poor feeding habits, but the possibility of inducing catch-up growth by energy supplementation is still controversial. The nutritional effects of a long-term, home-based enteral feeding program were studied in two infants and three children with moderate to severe chronic renal failure and impaired growth associated with persistent anorexia. In all patients, renal failure had developed during the first year of life due to congenital diseases. Enteral feeding was performed at home, during the night, through a silicone rubber nasogastric tube. The treatment lasted for 1 year. The energy intake ranged between 101% and 116% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA), and the protein intake between 96% and 113% of the RDA in all patients but one, in whom proteins were restricted to 75% of the RDA. All children showed a substantial improvement in deviation score for both weight (mean increase +1.76), height (mean increase +1.52) and in the general metabolic condition, irrespective of age, severity of osteodystrophy, or degree of renal failure. The treatment was well tolerated and, apart from a few episodes of vomiting, no complications arose during the treatment. Tube feeding may be an effective therapeutic option for overcoming malnutrition when chronic renal failure is associated with persistent anorexia. In infants and young children, growth retardation can be opposed and catch-up growth obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-178
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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