Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Dietetics and Nutrition

First Advisor's Name

Adriana Campa

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Fatma G. Huffman

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Third Advisor's Name

Zisca Dixon

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

O. Dale Williams

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Congenital heart defects, Cardiac surgery, Infants, Nutrition, Fluid intake, Growth

Date of Defense



Adequacy of nutritional intake during the postoperative period, as measured by a change in weight-for-age z-scores from surgery to the time of discharge, was evaluated in infants (n = 58) diagnosed with a congenital heart defect and admitted for surgical intervention at Miami Children’s Hospital using a prospective observational study design. Parental consent was obtained for all infants who participated in the study.

Forty patients had a weight available at hospital discharge. The mean preoperative weight-for-age z-score was -1.3 ±1.43 and the mean weight-for-age z-score at hospital discharge was -1.89 ±1.35 with a mean difference of 0.58 ±0.5 (P

Nutritional intake during the postoperative period was inadequate based on a decrease in weight-for-age z-scores from the time of surgery until discharged home. Our findings suggested that limited fluid volume for nutrition likely contributes to suboptimal nutritional delivery during the postoperative period; however, inadequate nutrition prescription may also be an important contributing factor. Development of a nutrition protocol for initiation and advancement of nutrition support may reduce the delay in achieving patient’s nutritional goals and may attenuate the observed decrease in z-scores during the postoperative period.





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