European Journal of Pediatrics

, Volume 148, Issue 7, pp 676–678 | Cite as

Milk bolus obstruction secondary to the early introduction of premature baby milk formula: an old syndrome re-emerging in a new population

  • J. K. H. Wales
  • D. Milford
  • N. M. Okorie
Nutrition Original Papers


Milk bolus obstruction of the neonatal bowel apparently related to the use of artificial powder milk, particularly full cream cows milk, was first recognised in the late 1960s. The syndrome almost disappeared with the use of highly modified cows milk formulae but has now re-emerged in the low birth weight population with the early use of high calorific feeds specifically designed for these infants. We describe four cases of obstruction and perforation of the bowel seen on our neonatal intensive care unit in 1 calendar year and discuss the possible aetiology of this condition.

Key words

Milk bolus obstruction Premature infant feeds 



necrotizing enterocolitis


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Berkowitz GP, Buntain WL, Cassady G (1980) Milk curd obstruction mimicking necrotizing enterocolitis. Am J Dis Child 134: 989–990Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Berman EJ, Ross C (1972) Mild curd obstruction in a 6-week-old infant. J Pediatr Surg 7:342Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Brooke OG, Gentner PR, Harzer G, Spitz L (1982) Milk fat bolus obstruction in a preterm infant. Acta Paediatr Scand 71:691–692Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cook RCM, Rickham PP (1969) Neonatal intestinal obstruction due to milk curds. J Pediatr Surg 4:599–605Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Duritz G, Oltorf C (1979) Lactobezoar formation associated with high density calorie formula. Pediatrics 63:647–649Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Erenberg A, Shaw RD, Yousefzadeh D (1979) Lactobezoar in the low-birth-weight infant. Pediatrics 63:642–649Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Lewis CT, Dickson JAS, Swain VAJ (1977) Milk bolus obstruction in the neonate. Arch Dis Child 52:68–71Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Shreiner RL, Brady MS, Franken EA, Stevens DC, Lemons JA, Gresham EL (1979) Increased incidence of lactobezoars in low birth weight infants. Am J Dis Child 133:936–940Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Stauffer UG, Pochon PP (1978) Milk curd obstruction. Helv Paediatr Acta 33:53–57Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Stauffer UG, Rickham PP (1978) In: Rickham PP, Lister J, Irving IM (eds) Neonatal surgery (2nd edn). Butterworths, London, pp 436–439Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. K. H. Wales
    • 1
  • D. Milford
    • 1
  • N. M. Okorie
    • 2
  1. 1.Neonatal UnitJessop Hospital for WomenSheffield 3United Kingdom
  2. 2.Paediatric Surgical UnitChildren's HospitalSheffieldUnited Kingdom

Personalised recommendations