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BioMed Research International
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 141967, 7 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/141967
Review Article

Nonpharmacological Management of Gastroesophageal Reflux in Preterm Infants

1Neonatology and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, S. Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Via Massarenti 11, 40138 Bologna, Italy
2Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences (DIMEC), University of Bologna, Via Massarenti 9, 40138 Bologna, Italy

Received 29 April 2013; Accepted 25 July 2013

Academic Editor: Jonathan Muraskas

Copyright © 2013 Luigi Corvaglia et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Gastroesophageal reflux (GOR) is very common among preterm infants, due to several physiological mechanisms. Although GOR should not be usually considered a pathological condition, its therapeutic management still represents a controversial issue among neonatologists; pharmacological overtreatment, often unuseful and potentially harmful, is increasingly widespread. Hence, a stepwise approach, firstly promoting conservative strategies such as body positioning, milk thickening, or changes of feeding modalities, should be considered the most advisable choice in preterm infants with GOR. This review focuses on the conservative management of GOR in the preterm population, aiming to provide a complete overview, based on currently available evidence, on potential benefits and adverse effects of nonpharmacological measures. Nonpharmacological management of GOR might represent a useful tool for neonatologists to reduce the use of antireflux medications, which should be limited to selected cases of symptomatic babies.