To investigated the effect of oropharyngeal colostrum immunotherapy in reducing the time required for very low birth weight preterm newborns (VLBW-PTNB: < 1,500g and < 37 weeks) to achieve full enteral nutrition.
Literature search was conducted using four databases, including gray literature, with additional manual search of the references of selected articles. Eligibility criteria consisted of randomized clinical trials, without restriction regarding the date or language of the publication. Two independent reviewers performed the article selection and data extraction. The random-effects meta-analysis used a non-standard technique to assess the mean difference in days to achieve full enteral nutrition, carried out by the Stata 15 statistic program.
The systematic review comprised 10 studies, and five were selected for meta-analysis, with a population of 764 VLBW-PTNB and gestational age of birth between 25 and 32 weeks. The studies were conducted between 2011 and 2018 in North America, Asia and Africa, with only one conducted in South America. Altogether, they reported the number of days it took 708 VLBW-PTNB to achieve full enteral nutrition, with newborns treated with immunotherapy showing a shorter time in only three studies. Meta-analysis showed a mean difference of -4.26 days, (95% CI -7.44; -1.08d), with high heterogeneity (I2 = 83.1%).
The use of oropharyngeal colostrum immunotherapy can reduce the time for VLBW-PTNB to achieve full nutrition when compared to those who used a placebo or received routine care.