Feeding dysfunction in infants with severe chronic renal failure after long-term nasogastric tubefeeding
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.Nasogastric tube feeding (NGTF) is frequently necessary to overcome the inadequate caloric intake of children with severe chronic renal failure (CRF). In a multicenter retrospective study, we evaluated feeding dysfunction after tube feeding withdrawal in children with severe CRF who started long-term enteral nutrition early in childhood. We considered, almost exclusively, infants who had started NGTF very early and continued to be tube fed for at least 9 months. Twelve patients were included in the study: 8 showed significant and persistent eating difficulties, with difficulties in chewing and swallowing in 7 and food refusal in 6. For 2 patients “panic attacks” from swallowing were repeatedly reported. These problems persisted for more than year in 5 patients and between 1 and 6 months in 4. The possible feeding difficulties that may follow NTGF must be carefully evaluated. A possible means of overcoming these difficulties might include: encouraging the use of a pacifier, proposing water for spontaneous assumption, leaving the child the possibility of eating food spontaneously during the daytime, and increased support for the parents during weaning. These need prospective study.
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