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Pediatric Cardiology

, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 1072–1077 | Cite as

Feasibility and Efficacy of Defatted Human Milk in the Treatment for Chylothorax After Cardiac Surgery in Infants

  • Kristi L. FoggEmail author
  • Diane M. DellaValle
  • Jason R. Buckley
  • Eric M. Graham
  • Sinai C. Zyblewski
Original Article

Abstract

Chylothorax is a well-described complication after cardiothoracic surgery in children. Medical nutritional therapy for chylothorax includes medium-chain triglyceride (MCT) formulas and reduction in enteral long-chain triglyceride intake to reduce chyle production. Human milk is usually eliminated from the diet of infants with chylothorax because of its high long-chain triglyceride content. However, given the immunologic properties of human milk, young infants with chylothorax may benefit from using human milk over human milk substitutes. We performed a retrospective cohort study to describe the feasibility and efficacy of defatted human milk (DHM) for the treatment for chylothorax in infants after cardiac surgery and to compare growth outcomes between infants treated with DHM (n = 14) versus MCT formula (n = 21). There were no differences in mortality or length of hospital stay between the DHM and MCT formula treatment groups. The DHM treatment group had a significantly higher weight-for-age z-score at hospital discharge compared to the MCT formula group with median z-scores of −1 (−2 to 0.5) and −1.5 (−2 to 0), respectively (p = 0.02). In infants with chylothorax after cardiac surgery, DHM is a safe and feasible medical nutritional treatment and may have potential benefits for improved nutrition and growth.

Keywords

Chylothorax Cardiac surgery Infants Human milk 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors thank the Emerson Rose Heart Foundation for their support.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participation were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Institutional and/or National Research Committee and with the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study, formal consent is not required.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kristi L. Fogg
    • 1
    Email author
  • Diane M. DellaValle
    • 2
  • Jason R. Buckley
    • 3
  • Eric M. Graham
    • 3
  • Sinai C. Zyblewski
    • 3
  1. 1.Clinical Nutrition Services, Department of PediatricsMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, 221 O’Neill Center for Healthy FamiliesMarywood UniversityScrantonUSA
  3. 3.Division of Pediatric Cardiology, Department of PediatricsMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA

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