J Korean Soc Neonatol.  2002 May;9(1):1-11.

Postnatal Catch-up Growth of Very Low Birth Weight Infants

  • 1Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, Asan Medical Center, College of Medicine, University of Ulsan, Seoul, Korea. jwlim@amc.seoul.kr


PURPOSE: The study was performed to examine postnatal growth curve for very low birth weight (VLBW) infants and to compare their catch-up growth in percentile with normal birth weight (NBW) infants. Also the role of various maternal and infant's factors that may predispose the VLBW infants for catch-up growth were evaluated.
The subjects for the study included 192 VLBW infants admitted to Asan Medical Center from January of 1997 to December of 1999. Of those 192 infants, a total of 113 infants were followed as an outpatient and their growth parameters including height, weight were obtained at each visit up to 18 months. We defined the catch-up growth as those who met 3rd percentile of normal Korean full term infant's growth curve.
The results of the study showed that 3rd percentile mean body weight was attained by 18 months and 6 months in VLBW of less than 1,000 g and 1,000-1,499 g, respectively. The 3rd percentile mean height was attained by 18 months and 12 months for VLBW of less than 1,000 g and 1,000-1,499 g, respectively. Those infants of 1,000- 1,499 g attained 10th percentile weight and height by 15 months. The evaluation of the catch-up growth above 3rd percentile at various ages in month showed that weight attained above 3rd percentile were 42.5%, 73.5%, 80.5%, 87.6% and height attained above 3rd percentile were 33.6%, 75.2%, 89.4%, 92% at 6, 12, 15, 18 months, respectively. The result of logistic regression analysis of risk factors for catch-up growth at 12 months in VLBW infants revealed that gestational age and birth weight were important contributing factors.
The 3rd percentile mean body weight and height were attained by 12 months in VLBW infants. Predisposing neonatal factors for catch-up growth included gestational age, birth weight, days of hospitalization, bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), days of total parenteral nutrition and days of rehospitalization within 2 years after discharge from neonatal intensive care unit.


Growth curve; Catch-up growth; Very low birth weight infant

MeSH Terms

Birth Weight
Body Weight
Bronchopulmonary Dysplasia
Gestational Age
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Very Low Birth Weight*
Intensive Care, Neonatal
Logistic Models
Parenteral Nutrition, Total
Risk Factors
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