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Body Water Is Reduced In Breastfed Jaundiced Babies

Strehle E  Robinson D  El Habbal MH

WORLD PEDIATRICS, ADOLESCENT AND FAMILY CARE (In Press) 2000

AIMS: To determine the changes of body composition that occur in infants with hyper-bilirubinaemia secondary to breast feeding.

METHODS: The changes in body water (BW) that occur in term infants with breastfeed jaundice (n = 10) were compared to that of healthy control (n = 20). Extracellular and total BW were measured using bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy (BIS) from 5 to 500 kHz at 25 kHz intervals. Measurements were made on day 3 of life. Body weights were 3.2 (2.6 - 3.8) kg for patients and 3.1 (2.5 - 3.9) kg for control.

RESULTS: In patients and controls, there was a direct correlation between the frequency and impedance values (r = - 0.89 for patients and r = - 0.91 for control, p < 0.0001). In patients, the median impedance was 539 (451.5 - 592.5) Ohms vs. 476 (426 - 529) Ohms for control, p < 0.001. The ratio of the impedance at high frequency to that at low frequency was 1.25 for patients and 1.3 for control.

CONCLUSION: In breastfed jaundiced babies, BW is reduced. BIS should be used for assessing BW to determine those at risk of jaundice which may reduce morbidity.

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