The primary objective of this study was the establishment of a postnatal growth curve for the very low-birth-weight infant. Only infants whose size was appropriate for gestational age and whose predominant form of nourishment was enteral were included in the study. Two growth curves were constructed: one for infants weighing less than 900 g (group A, birth weight 799 ± 79 [SD] g, mean gestational age 26.5 weeks), and one for infants weighing 901 to 1,100 g (group B, birth weight 1,023 ± 53 [SD] g, mean gestational age 28.5 weeks). Growth was followed over the first 50 postnatal days. Group A infants gained an average of 10.2 g/d overall during the first 50 postnatal days and group B infants gained an average of 17.1 g/d over the same period. Because the major objective of this study was construction of a growth curve for infants weighing less than 900 g, direct comparison is made with the Dancis grid (1948) as this is the only standard for this group. The growth rates of our infants were found to be more than twice that of the original prediction of Dancis.
- Accepted March 5, 1984.
- Copyright © 1984 by the American Academy of Pediatrics