BACKGROUND: To determine whether the complementary approach of visceral manipulative osteopathic treatment accelerates complete meconium excretion and improves feeding tolerance in very low birth weight infants. METHODS: This study was a prospective, randomized, controlled trial in premature infants with a birth weight <1500 g and a gestational age <32 weeks who received a visceral osteopathic treatment 3 times during their first week of life or no treatment. RESULTS: Passage of the last meconium occurred after a median of 7.5 days (95% confidence interval: 6-9 days, n = 21) in the intervention group and after 6 days (95% confidence interval: 5-9 days, n = 20,) in the control group (p = 0.11). However, osteopathic treatment was associated with a 8 day longer time to full enteral feedings (p = 0.02), and a 34 day longer hospital stay (Median = 66 vs. 100 days i.e.; p=0.14). Osteopathic treatment was tolerated well and no adverse events were observed. CONCLUSIONS: Visceral osteopathic treatment of the abdomen did not accelerate meconium excretion in VLBW (very low birth weight)-infants. However infants in the osteopathic group had a longer time to full enteral feedings and a longer hospital stay, which could represent adverse effects. Based on our trial results, we cannot recommend visceral osteopathic techniques in VLBW-infants. TRIAL REGISTRATION: Clinical trials.gov: NCT02140710.
Haiden, Nadja Pimpel, Birgit Kreissl, Alexandra Jilma, Bernd Berger, Angelika eng Randomized Controlled Trial PLoS One. 2015 Apr 15;10(4):e0123530. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0123530. eCollection 2015.