Possible protection by breast-feeding against severe esophageal and gastric lesions in the neonate. A case-control study.
Benhamou PH. Cheikh A. Francoual C. Kalach N. De Boissieu D. Dupont C.
Unite de gastro-enterologie pediatrique, Hopital Saint-Vincent-de-Paul, Paris, France.
The development of safe fiberoptic endoscopy in neonates led to the identification of the occurrence of severe esophageal and gastric lesions (EGL) in the first days of life. The cause of these early acute lesions, which are associated most of the time with severe clinical symptoms, remains unknown. 34 neonates with EGL were compared with controls born in the same maternity unit immediately after those enrolled in the EGL series. Clinical and obstetric data were not different in the 2 groups. Breast-feeding was less frequent (p < 0.01) and given later (p = 0.0001) in babies with EGL. This retrospective analysis yielded no indication relative to the causative phenomenon leading to such mucosal alterations. In contrast, it provides the first evidence of a possible protective role of breast-feeding.