Effects of early intake of amino acid on the neurodevelopmental outcomes in very low birth weight infants at correct age of 20 months and school age



Inadequate nutrition leads to poor neurodevelopmental outcomes in very low-birth weight infants (VLBWIs). This study aimed to investigate the beneficial effects of early amino acid intake on the neurodevelopmental outcomes in VLBWIs at 20 months of correct age and school age.


The information of VLBWIs that received amino acid intake were retrospectively analyzed in this study. The cases in early group (EAA) received amino acid within 24 h, but the cases in standard group (SAA) after 48 h post-natal. The body weight, height, and Bayley score of the infants at correct age of 20 months were compared between groups. And the cognitive outcomes at school age were evaluated using Wechsler Intelligence Scale and Das-Naglieri cognitive assessment system.


There were no differences at baseline characteristics of the VLBWIs between EAA and SAA groups. Compared with the SAA group, the infants in EAA group had shorter time to regain birth weight (P < 0.05). The head circumference, MDI, and PDI in EAA group at 20 months of correct age were significantly higher than that in SAA group (both P < 0.05). According to the Wechsler scale and Das-Naglieri scores, the infants in EAA group had markedly improved cognitive outcomes compared with those in SAA group (all P < 0.05).


The results of this study revealed that early amino acid intake within 24 h could significantly improve the neurodevelopmental and cognitive outcomes in VLBWIs at 20 months of correct age and school age.

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Data availability

All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in this published article.


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A Project of the Comprehensive Treatment of Very Low Birth Weight Infants (2017wsjs099).

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Liming Zhang.

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A signed written informed consent was obtained from each patient and the experimental procedures were all in accordance with the guideline of the Ethics Committee of Weifang People’s Hospital.

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Written informed consent for publication was obtained from each participant.

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The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

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Cite this article

Zhao, W., Yin, Y., Qin, F. et al. Effects of early intake of amino acid on the neurodevelopmental outcomes in very low birth weight infants at correct age of 20 months and school age. Ir J Med Sci (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11845-021-02526-1

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  • Amino acid intake
  • Breast feeding
  • Cognitive outcomes
  • Neurodevelopment
  • Very low-birth weight infants