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Gastrointestinal Issues in the Child with Neurodevelopment Delay


Canadian Paediatric Society. American Academy of Paediatrics. Astra Pharmaceuticals ... An Essential Pediatric Tool. The Use and Misuse of Growth Charts ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Gastrointestinal Issues in the Child with Neurodevelopment Delay

Gastrointestinal Issues in the Child with
Neurodevelopment Delay
  • Robert Issenman
  • McMaster University and
  • McMaster Childrens Hospital
  • Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

  • Funded Lectures
  • Canadian Paediatric Society
  • American Academy of Paediatrics
  • Astra Pharmaceuticals
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Funded Research
  • Abbott
  • Centocor
  • Advisory Boards
  • Childrens Digestive Health Foundation Scientific
    Advisory Board

Gastrointestinal Issues
  • Feeding and swallowing
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux
  • Dysmotility
  • Over and under nutrition
  • Elimination

  • Feeding Disorders are present in
  • 25-45 normal children

  • (Shapiro 1986, Boyle 1991,Reilly 1996)
  • 89 of children with developmental delay

  • (Motion 2002)
  • Sorting out variation in normal from abnormal is
    particularly difficult as
  • Eating is highly charged in healthy children and
    families with children with failed feelings bring
    a lot of feelings of guilt and failure (Rudolph)

Normal Feeding Swallowing and Gastric Retention
Depends Upon
  • The brain-gut axis
  • Children with developmental abnormality are at
    risk of impaired feeding and swallowing as well
    as reflux and GI dysmotility because of impaired
  • Proprioception
  • Normal Muscle Function
  • Coordination

Feeding and Swallowing
  • Neuromuscular control of eating
  • Involves 26 muscles
  • The pattern of contraction must be exquisitely
  • Feeding and swallowing difficulties may be the
    presenting symptom in children with disordered

Feeding the Neurologically Disabled
  • Children are unable to communicate
  • Food preferences
  • Hunger
  • Satiety
  • Caretakers often
  • Overestimate the childs dietary energy intake
  • Underestimate the time to feed the child

Feeding Difficulties in CP
  • Feeding problems occur in 40-50 of CP
  • Poor suck (58) and difficulty breastfeeding
  • Difficulty swallowing (38)
  • Difficulties introducing solid foods
  • Gagging and choking with feeds
  • Feeding difficulties antecede diagnosis in 60

Children with CP
  • As much of 50 of food may be lost due to lower
    nutrient intake resulting from
  • Poor hand to mouth coordination
  • Excessive spillage
  • Inadequate lip closure
  • Drooling
  • Persistent extrusion reflex
  • Tongue thrust preventing swallowing

Children with CP have Different Energy Needs than
other children
  • These children have lower height for age and
    lower weight for age
  • The 50 for CP children is the 10th ile on
    charts of the NCHS growth charts
  • They have lower resting energy expenditure
  • These differences increase with increasing age
  • Neurological disease may depress linear growth
    even in the absence of malnutrition

Appetite and Satiety The principle of caloric
  • Healthy infants eat to a caloric set point
    the appetite centre in the lateral hypothalamus
  • Children with CP may have lower resting energy
  • Concentrated formula dulls appetite and induces
    feeding resistance

  • Growth Charts
  • Weight for height (BMI)
  • Anthropomorphic measurement
  • Subcutaneous skin folds
  • Bone Age

Growth Charts An Essential Pediatric Tool
The Use and Misuse of Growth Charts
  • Growth charts represent cross sectional data on
    hundreds of infants
  • These growth charts are based on white american
  • Charts may not be appropriate for others
  • Real infants grow in fits and spurts

Seasonality of Growth
  • Canadian children grow
  • Faster in summer
  • Slower in winter
  • Slower with repeated intercurrent illness
  • Slower on first exposure to groups of other

Big Mother Small Father - Catch Down Growth
  • Birth weight reflects mothers weight
  • Infant born to big mother and small father will
    adjust growth between the 6th and 18th month

Overfeeding the Small Child
  • A constitutionally small child will grow at the
    3rd percentile or below you cant feed them out
    of this
  • Many disabled children are constitutionally small
  • Overfeeding will result in feeding resistance and

New CDC Growth Charts
  • Mostly based on NHANES data
  • Correct some of the previous problems
  • Available at
  • Palm Pilot Growth Chart Calculator developed
    Andrew S. Chen
  • Calculates BMI and growth deficit as z scores

The Feeding and Swallowing (FAST) Team
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Speech and Language
  • Nutrition
  • Social Work
  • Pediatric GI/ Nutrition MD
  • Pediatric Surgeon
  • Dentist
  • Radiologist

Clinical Approach Rudolph
  • Medical History
  • Developmental history
  • Transition of normal milestone
  • Temporal relation to medical surgical problems
  • Symptoms of GERD
  • Airway breathing problems
  • Hx of recurrent pneumonias
  • Neurological disease
  • Infant Feeding Observation
  • Vigorous or weak suck
  • Efficiency of suck swallow breathing
  • Cough gag
  • Lethargy
  • Duration of feeding
  • Parent Child Interaction

Laboratory Assessment
  • CBC and diff
  • Protein/Albumin
  • Calcium/Phosphate/Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Urea/Creatinine/Electrolytes
  • Ferritin, Zinc
  • Urine analysis

Radiological and Endoscopic Studies
  • Investigation
  • Chest X-ray
  • Abdominal plain film
  • Upper GI
  • Video Flouroscopy
  • 24 Hr pH
  • Upper Endoscopy
  • Indication
  • Chronic lung disease
  • Chronic constipation
  • Reflux,Dysmotility
  • Swallowing dysfunction
  • Reflux
  • Esophagitis

Video fluoroscopy (VFSS)
  • A feeding study done in collaboration between
    OT/Speech Path and Radiologist
  • Administration of formula/food of graded
  • Simultaneous clinical assessment and video
  • High correlation with clinical assessment for
    liquids but not solids
  • DeMatteo, Madovitch,Hjartarson A, CaseP

Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology (In
  • A Comparison of Clinical And Videofluoroscopic
    Evaluation of Children with Feeding and
    Swallowing Difficulties Carol DeMatteo, Dip POT,
  • Diana Matovich, B.HSc.OT
  • Aune Hjartarson, B.HSc.OT
  • Trish Case, B.HSc.OT

Clinical Implications
  • VFSS remains the best test to determine the
    presence of aspiration and penetration but it may
    not always be needed as part of a swallowing
  • Experienced therapists are very accurate in
    their detection of fluid aspiration and
  • They are not very accurate in the detection of
    solid aspiration

Clinical Implications continued
  • Experienced therapists should use their
    uncertainty about the presence or absence of
    penetration or aspiration as an indicator that
    VFSS is required
  • Cough is the best predictor of fluid aspiration
    and penetration
  • Cough does not seem to predict solid aspiration

Good Indications for VFSS
  • To determine presence of aspiration.
  • Query re safety of different texture.
  • To provide concrete evidence of paralysis or
    in-coordination unexplained by clinical evidence.
  • To assess progress and readiness in known
    aspiration cases.

Nutritional Therapeutics Tools of the Trade
  • Foods and formulae
  • Feeding Tubes
  • Gastrostomy/Jejunostomy
  • Total Parenteral Nutrition

Special Formulae
  • Nutritional Components
  • Fat
  • Protein
  • Carbohydrate
  • Vitamins/Minerals
  • Non Nutritive Components
  • Fluid
  • Fibre

Protein Choice Usually Drives the Choice of
  • Food
  • Single source
  • Polypeptides
  • Hydrolysates
  • Casein hydrolysates
  • Whey hydrolysates
  • Amino Acids

Other Ingredients
  • Carbohydrate
  • Contribute most of the osmotic load
  • Lactose intolerance 2o bacterial overgrowth
  • Starches/glucose polymers osmotic load
  • Fat
  • Lower fat gastric emptying
  • Fibre
  • Helps dysmotility

Feeding the Disabled -Principles
  • Most disabled children will thrive on regular
    foods modified for ease of delivery
  • Children should be fed the simplest (least
    expensive) food or formula
  • Protein hydrolysates may be used to facilitate
    gastric emptying
  • Amino Acid formulae reserved for patients with
    severe allergy or malabsorption

Modular Components
  • Formula may be tailored to the individual with
    the addition of modular components
  • Fat - Microlipid
  • Carbohydrate - Polycose
  • Protein Pro-Mod , Casec

Concentrating Formula A Nutritional Charade
  • The stomach brings all foods to iso-osmolarity
    based on the number of molecules in the feed
  • Low volume concentrated feeds take the same
    gastric volume as higher volume normal feeds
  • Concentrated formula should be prescribed for
  • Fluid restriction in cardiac or renal disease
  • Gastric Volume Limitation premature, SGA
  • Susceptibility to reflux?

Tube Feeding
  • When the infant or child
  • Can not swallow
  • Will not swallow
  • Is seriously not maintaining weight
  • Is not growing
  • To bypass the stomach
  • To establish a diagnosis

Dangers of Enteric Feeding
  • Enteric feeding tubes, gastrostomy and
    jejunostomy tubes provide the illusion of control
  • Excessive feeding beyond the set point will
    produce reflux and /or vomiting
  • Problems may worsen when none networked
    community nutritional services set a normal
    weight target for the child

GI Reflux in Children with Developmental Delay
  • Up to 75 of children with developmental delay
    have evidence of gastroesophageal reflux

Gastroesophageal Reflux
  • Reflux - Regurgitation of gastric contents into
    the esophagus with or without vomiting
  • Simple Reflux- The absence of complications and a
    healthy growing infant
  • Regurgitation - effortless oral dribbling
  • Vomiting-forceful expulsion from the mouth
  • GERD - Gastroesophageal reflux disease

Factors Contributing to Reflux
  • Transient LES post prandrial relaxation
  • Gravitational clearance
  • Decreased peristaltic clearance
  • Slow gastric emptying
  • Proprioception - developmental factors effect
    receptors in the greater curve
  • Reflects neurological integration

Gastric Emptying and Reflux
  • Gastric emptying is effected by
  • Volume/ consistency of feeding
  • Fat content/ protein composition
  • Temperature of the meal
  • Effective esophageal clearance and gastric
    emptying requires coordination
  • Stress (physical or emotional) delays gastric

Progression to Pathologic Reflux
  • The Vicious Cycle of GERD
  • regional blood flow and local prostaglandin
    content leads to mucosal permeability,
    susceptibility to
  • inflammation impairs LES function
  • impaired LES function reflux

Developmental and Genetic Associated with GI
  • Adrenal Genital Syndromes
  • Fetal Alcohol
  • Williamss Syndrome
  • Turners Syndrome
  • Praeder Willy
  • Fragile X
  • Cornelia De Lange
  • Trisomy

Available GI Investigations
  • Over the counter antacids
  • Algicinate acid buffers (high aluminum content)
  • Intestinal prokinetics
  • Erythromycin (Inconsistent response)
  • Metaclopramide (extrapyramidal side effects)
  • Domperidone (Pediatric data - poor)
  • Cisapride (Arrythmias- Special access only)
  • Systemic Antacids
  • H2 antagonists and acid blockers (esophagitis)

Proton Pump Inhibitors
  • Omeprazole, lansoprazol, pantoprazol,esoprazol
  • Very effective for acid suppresssion
  • Variable PPI dosing in erosive esophagitis in
    children - omeprazole Hassal et al.
  • 50 respond to 0.6 mg/kg
  • 25 respond to 0.9 mg/kg
  • 25 respond to 1.2 mg/kg
  • Doses as high as 3.5 mg/kg have been used
  • Lansoprazol omeprazole 1.5mg 1.0 mg

Constipation - definition
  • Hard stool.
  • Pain with passage of stool
  • Ineffective evacuation
  • Failure to pass 3 stools/week
  • Intestinal Transit times

1-3 M 8.5 h 4-24 M 16 h 3-13 Y 26 h After
puberty 30-48 h
The Brain Gut Axis and Constipation
  • The neuroenteric nervous system has more nerves
    than the spinal cord
  • There is continual cross talk between the gut
    and brain. The Brain Gut Axis
  • There is an inverse correlation between age no.
    of high amplitudes propagated contractions before
    after a meal.
  • Children with developmental delay have impaired
    motility and are prone to constipation

Organic Causes of Constipation
  • Anatomic
  • Anal stenos.
  • Imperforated anus.
  • Anterior displaced anus.
  • Sacral teratoma.
  • 2) Metabolic Gastrointestinal
  • Hypothyroidism.
  • Hypocalcemia.
  • Hypokalemia.
  • Cystic fibrosis.
  • Diabetes Mellitus
  • Neurologic
  • Hirschsprungs disease.
  • Spinal cord dysplasia/hypotonia syndromes.
  • Visceral myopathies Neuropathies .
  • Abnormal Abdominal Musculature
  • Prune belly.
  • Down syndrome.
  • Autoimmune
  • Scleroderma

Other causes
  • Antacids (Aluminum Antacids)
  • Antispasmotics
  • Narcotics (Codeine).
  • Phenobarbital.
  • Iron.
  • 7) Others
  • Peri-anal Strep Cellulitis
  • Lead poisoning.
  • Botulism

Laxatives- Tools of the Trade
  • Osmotic agents
  • Magnesium citrate
  • Lactulose
  • Polyethylene Glycol PEG Solutions
  • Lubricants Mineral Oil, Lansoyl
  • Stool softeners - Docusate sodium
  • Bulking agents - Psyllium
  • Stimulants Senna, Biscodyl

The Ins and Outs of Fibre
  • Soluble Fibre
  • Pectins and guar gums
  • Found in most fruits and vegetables
  • Lower glycemic index/bind cholesterol
  • Insoluble Fibre
  • Cellulose and Hemi-cellulose
  • Retain water and treat constipation

  • Canadian Paediatric Society. Undernutrition in
    children with neurodevelopmental disability.
    Ottawa 1994.
  • Gremse D. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in
    Children An Overview of Pathophysiology,
    Diagnosis and Treatment, Journal of Pediatric
    Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2002 35 (Supp 4)
  • North American Society for Pediatric
    Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition.
    Pediatric Gastroesophageal Reflux Clinical
    Practice Guideline. Journal of Pediatric
    Gastroenterology and Nutrition 2001 32 (Supp 2)

References - Continued
  • DeMatteo, C., Matovich, D., Hjartarson, A. (in
    press). A comparison of videofluoroscopy and
    clinical evaluation in children with feeding and
    swallowing problems.  Developmental Medicine and
    Child Neurology
  • Dematteo, C. (2003) Feeding and Eating
    Interventions for Children and Youth with Brain
    Injury. KC 03-1,  CanChild Keeping Current.
  • DeMatteo, C., Law, M., Goldsmith, C.  (2002). The
    effect of food textures on intake by mouth and 
    the recovery of oral motor function in the child
    with a severe brain injury. Physical
    Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics 22(3/4)

References - Continued
  •  Persad R. Issenman RM. Bringing Up GERD in
    Children, Canadian Journal of CME, STA
    Publications August 2003.
  • Rudolph CD, Link DT. Feeding disorders in infants
    and children. Pediatr Clin North Am
  • Telch J, Telch F. Practical Aspects of Nutrition
    in the Disabled Pediatric Patient. Clinical
    Nutrition Rounds 200332

References - Continued
  • Rudolph CD, Mazur LJ, Liptak GS et. al.
    Guidelines for evaluation and treatment of
    gastroesophageal reflux in infants and children
    recommendations of the North American Society
    for Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition. J
    Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr 2001 32 Suppl. 2,
  • Nelson SP, Chen EH, Syniar GM, Christofel KK. One
    year followup of symptoms of gastroesophageal
    reflux during infancy. Pediatrics 1998102 (6) e67

References Continued
  • Heine RG, Cameron DJ, Hill DJ, et. al.
    Esophagitis in distressed infants poor
    diagnostic agreement between esophageal pH
    monitoring and histopathologic findings. J
    Pediatr 200214014-9
  • Orenstein SR, An overview of reflux-associated
    disorders in infants apnea, laryngospasm and
    aspiration. Am. J. Med 2001 111 (Supp 8a) 60S-63S
  • Marchand V, Motil KJ Nutrition Support for
    Neurologically Impaired Children. North American
    Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology,
    Hepatology and Nutrition, 2005, In press