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Dev Med Child Neurol. 1986 Dec;28(6):729-33.

Growth of severely impaired children: neurological versus nutritional factors.


Nineteen children with cerebral palsy who have had gastrostomies since 1981 and who have been followed for at least six months postoperatively were reviewed to assess the effects of gastrostomy feeding on their growth and to determine whether growth failure was due to neurological or nutritional dysfunction. The children's ages ranged from five to 168 months (mean 60.4 months) and follow-up extended from six to 41 months (mean 23.1 months). All were profoundly handicapped, with involvement of all four limbs. 11 also had seizures and all 19 were severely to profoundly retarded. Heights and weights were recorded during the visit immediately before surgery and at most recent follow-up. Data were recorded as a standard deviation score (Z-score). Before surgery the mean weight/height was -2.71 Z. Postoperatively this improved to -1.18 Z. 16 of the 19 children increased their weight/height ratio. Three children had a weight/height ratio greater than 10th percentile preoperatively. 11 achieved this on follow-up. Seven children were greater than 25th percentile for weight/height. Improvement in weight/height did not correlate with length of follow-up. For severely neurologically impaired children, nutritional factors play a major rĂ´le in growth. By ensuring adequate caloric intake via gastrostomy, a significant number of children achieved adequate growth and better nutritional status.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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