Banked preterm versus banked term human milk to promote growth and development in very low birth weight infants

Donor expressed milk processed by human milk banks has been used to provide preterm infants with breast milk when there are circumstances that preclude the use of mother's own milk. Preterm milk differs significantly from term breast milk. We were unable to identify any studies that compared donor preterm milk with donor term milk to promote growth and development in very low birth weight infants.

Authors' conclusions: 

There are no randomised trials that compare preterm banked milk to banked term milk to promote growth and development in very low birth weight infants.

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Background: 

Human milk banking has been available in many countries for the last three decades. The milk provided from milk banking is predominantly term breast milk, but some milk banks provide preterm breast milk. There are a number of differences between donor term and donor preterm human milk.

Objectives: 

To determine the effect of banked preterm milk compared with banked term milk regarding growth and developmental outcome in very low birth weight infants (infants weighing less than 1500 g).

Search strategy: 

We used the standard methods of the Cochrane Neonatal Review Group, including a search of the Cochrane Neonatal Group specialized register and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL, The Cochrane Library, January 2010). We searched the computerised bibliographic databases MEDLINE (1966 to February 2010), EMBASE (1988 to February 2010) and Web of Science (1975 to February 2010). We searched reference lists of all selected articles, review articles and the Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials. We also searched abstracts from neonatal and pediatric meetings (PAS electronic version from 2000 to 2009, ESPR hand search from 2000 to 2009). We applied no language restrictions.

Selection criteria: 

Randomised and quasi-randomised trials comparing banked donor preterm milk with banked donor term milk regarding growth and developmental outcomes in very low birth weight infants

Data collection and analysis: 

We planned to perform assessment of methodology regarding blinding of randomisation, intervention and outcome measurements as well as completeness of follow-up. We planned to evaluate treatment effect using a fixed-effect model using relative risk (RR), relative risk reduction, risk difference (RD) and number needed to treat (NNT) for categorical data and using mean, standard deviation and weighted mean difference (WMD) for continuous data. We planned an evaluation of heterogeneity.

Main results: 

No studies met the inclusion criteria.

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