Management of abdominal distension in the preterm infant with noninvasive ventilation: Comparison of cenit versus 2x1 technique for the utilization of feeding tube

Cordero González, G., Valdés Vázquez, N.O., Izaguirre Alcántara, D.D., Michel Macías, C.*, Carrera Muiños, S., Morales Barquet, D.A., Fernández Carrocera, L.A. | JNPM 2020;


BACKGROUND: Preterm infants are fed by orogastric / nasogastric tube until they reach maturation and coordination of sucking, swallowing and respiration at approximately 32–34 weeks of corrected age. While being on non-invasive ventilation (NIV), they frequently present abdominal distension. Currently at our institution two techniques are used for the management of abdominal distension in preterm infants fed by bolus via orogastric tube: cenit and 2 x 1.The aim of this study was to compare the proportion of preterm infants presenting NIV-associated abdominal distension with each of these techniques.

STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a randomized clinical trial including infants of <  36.6 weeks of gestation and <  1500 g of birth weight who were admitted to our NICU during the period of April 1, 2016 to April 1, 2018 and received NIV. The presence of abdominal distension >  2 cm was the primary outcome. Secondary outcomes were presence of reflux, regurgitation, oxygen saturation during feeding and days to reach full feedings. Feeding tube drainage, stool characteristics and the use of prokinetics were confounding variables.

RESULTS: A total of 97 patients were included. Forty-six in the cenit group and 51 in the 2 x 1 group. There was no difference in the proportion of infants with abdominal distension >  2 cm between groups. Oxygen saturation during feeding at volume of 150 ml/kg/day was higher in the cenit group with statistical significance.

CONCLUSION: The use of cenit or 2 x 1 technique in preterm infants with NIV did not improve abdominal distension or other indicators of feeding tolerance.

*Corresponding Author: 

Carolina Michel-Macías MD, Neonatología, Unidad de Cuidados Intensivos Neonatales, Nacional de Perinatología, Montes Urales 800, Lomas Virreyes, Delegación Miguel Hidalgo, CP 11000, Ciudad de México, México. E-mail: