Refeeding syndrome (RS) has not been well defined in the neonatal population, although hypophosphatemia is identified as the most common manifestation. The American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition recently provided recommendations for the prevention and management of RS in children and adults; however, specific neonatal recommendations were not provided. In an effort to provide an overview of the incidence of RS or hypophosphatemia in the neonatal population and the impact of patient-specific and nutrition factors, a review of the literature was conducted. The literature search included articles published in the English language in Medline, PubMed, and EPub between 1946 and December 2020. Relevant citations within identified articles were also reviewed. Sixteen studies representing 3688 neonates were included. There was variation in the incidence of hypophosphatemia (20%–90%), hypokalemia (8.8%–66.7%), and hypomagnesemia (1%–8.3%) between studies. There was significant variability in definitions of hypophosphatemia, patient populations (e.g., gestational age, small for gestational age status, intrauterine growth restriction), and initial nutrition between studies (i.e., initial amino acid intake, calcium and phosphate ratio), proving it difficult to identify the overall incidence of neonatal RS. Clinical outcomes associated with hypophosphatemia identified in the studies included increased duration of mechanical ventilation, development of bronchopulmonary dysplasia, and increased mortality. Vigilant monitoring of serum phosphate, potassium, and magnesium is required in the first week of life. In addition, early addition of phosphate in a 1:1 molar ratio with calcium is recommended in the first week of life for patients who are at greatest risk for RS.
Refeeding Syndrome in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
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Caitlyn V. Bradford, M. Petrea Cober, Jamie L. Miller; Refeeding Syndrome in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. The Journal of Pediatric Pharmacology and Therapeutics 1 December 2021; 26 (8): 771–782. doi: https://doi.org/10.5863/1551-6776-26.8.771
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