Try our beta test site

Donor Milk vs. Formula in Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW) Infants

This study is currently recruiting participants. (see Contacts and Locations)
Verified September 2016 by NICHD Neonatal Research Network
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
NICHD Neonatal Research Network Identifier:
First received: February 13, 2012
Last updated: September 20, 2016
Last verified: September 2016
The Milk Trial seeks to determine the effect on neurodevelopmental outcomes at age 22-26 months of donor human milk as compared to preterm infant formula as the in-hospital diet for infants whose mothers choose not to provide breast milk or are able to provide only a minimal amount. Infants will be randomized to receive donor breast milk or formula during their hospital stay. Infant's will be followed until they reach 22-26 months of age.

Condition Intervention Phase
Infant, Newborn
Infant, Small for Gestational Age
Infant, Extremely Low Birth Weight
Biological: Donor Milk
Dietary Supplement: Preterm Formula
Phase 3

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double Blind (Subject, Caregiver, Investigator, Outcomes Assessor)
Primary Purpose: Prevention
Official Title: Neurodevelopmental Effects of Donor Human Milk vs. Preterm Formula in Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW) Infants

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by NICHD Neonatal Research Network:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Neurodevelopmental Outcome [ Time Frame: 22-26 months corrected age ]
    As measured by scores on Bayley Scales of Infant Development III (BSID III)

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • In Hospital Morbidities [ Time Frame: Up to one year ]

    These include:

    • Death
    • Late onset sepsis or meningitis
    • Length of TPN use
    • Length of initial hospital stay
    • Necrotizing enterocolitis
    • Bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), defined as room air oxygen saturation of less than 90% at 36 weeks postmenstrual age using the NRN standard physiologic definition of BPD.
    • Necrotizing enterocolitis or death
    • BPD or death

  • Growth outcomes [ Time Frame: 36 Weeks and 22-26 months corrected age ]
    In-Hospital growth parameters, including rate of weight gain, weight, length and head circumference at 36 weeks or discharge, whichever comes first. Weights will be obtained from hospital records weekly, length and head circumference will be measured bi-weekly by study personnel.

  • Follow-up Outcomes [ Time Frame: 22-26 months corrected age ]
    • Number of hospital admissions between initial discharge and follow-up
    • Motor and Language scores on the BSID III
    • Cerebral Palsy
    • Neurodevelopmental Impairment (NDI), using current Follow-Up Study definition.
    • Profound Impairment, defined as BSID III Cognitive subscale score of 70
    • NDI or death
    • Profound Impairment or death

Estimated Enrollment: 670
Study Start Date: August 2012
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2018
Estimated Primary Completion Date: June 2017 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Donor Milk
Donor milk provided by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America
Biological: Donor Milk
Donor milk provided by the Human Milk Banking Association of North America
Placebo Comparator: Preterm Formula
Preterm formula determined by center practice
Dietary Supplement: Preterm Formula
Preterm Formula determined by center practice.

Detailed Description:
There is strong evidence that maternal breast milk feedings in infancy confer multiple health benefits in the extremely preterm population (extremely low birth weight, ELBW, <1000 g). Studies suggest an IQ advantage of up to 8 points conferred by maternal milk feeding in this population. Rates of sepsis and necrotizing enterocolitis are also lower in human milk fed ELBW infants, and they experience shorter hospital stays and fewer re-hospitalizations in the first year of life. When mothers choose not to or are unable to provide milk, preterm formula is usually used. Recently, pasteurized donor human milk is available in some NICUs in the US as an alternative to preterm formula. Donor milk has not been well studied with regard to its safety and efficacy. It is unknown if donor human milk confers the same benefits as maternal milk with regard to neurodevelopmental and health outcomes. The proposed study will be the first US multicenter randomized trial of the health and developmental effects of donor milk as compared to preterm formula in ELBW infants receiving little or no maternal milk. Our long-term goal is to optimize neurodevelopmental and health outcomes for ELBW infants, maximizing their quality of life and societal functionality throughout their lives. If donor human milk has similar effects to maternal milk, the public health benefit of donor milk feedings in ELBW infants unable to receive maternal milk would be considerable.

Ages Eligible for Study:   up to 21 Days   (Child)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Gestational age less than 29 weeks.
  • Admitted to the NICU at less than or equal to 72 hours of life
  • Survived at least 12 hours

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Chromosomal anomalies
  • Cyanotic congenital heart disease
  • Diagnosed intrauterine infection
  • Other congenital disorders known to impair neurodevelopment
  • NEC or IP prior to seeking consent
  • Decision documented to limit intensive care therapies
  • Congenital disorders that may affect feeding

Feeding Group Eligibility:

  • Sole Diet Group: Infants will be eligible for the sole diet feeding protocol if the mother declines to provide breast milk for the baby.
  • Supplemental Diet (minimal maternal milk) Group: Infants whose mothers initially choose to provide breast milk and begin pumping will be re-screened for eligibility at least weekly until the infant is 21 days old. If the mother stops expressing milk at any point prior to the infant's 21st day of life, her infant will be eligible for randomization. In addition, those whose mothers are providing less than 20% of the infant's dietary needs (averaged over past 5 days) when the infant reaches 21 days of age will be eligible for randomization at this point. No infant will be randomized after reaching 21 days.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01534481

Contact: Tarah Colaizy, MD, MPH 319-356-3508
Contact: Rosemary D Higgins, MD 301-496-5575

United States, Alabama
University of Alabama at Birmingham Recruiting
Birmingham, Alabama, United States, 35233
Contact: Waldemar A. Carlo, MD    205-934-4680      
Principal Investigator: Waldemar A. Carlo, MD         
United States, California
Stanford University Recruiting
Palo Alto, California, United States, 94304
Contact: Krisa P. Van Meurs, MD         
Principal Investigator: Krisa P. Van Meurs, MD         
United States, Georgia
Emory University Recruiting
Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 30303
Contact: David Carlton, MD         
Principal Investigator: David Carlton, MD         
United States, Indiana
Indiana University Active, not recruiting
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 46202
United States, Iowa
University of Iowa Recruiting
Iowa City, Iowa, United States, 52242
Contact: Tarah Colaizy, MD, MPH    319-356-3508      
Principal Investigator: Edward F. Bell, MD         
United States, Michigan
Wayne State University Active, not recruiting
Detroit, Michigan, United States, 48201
United States, Missouri
Children's Mercy Hospital Active, not recruiting
Kansas City, Missouri, United States, 64108
United States, New Mexico
University of New Mexico Recruiting
Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States, 87131
Contact: Kristi L. Watterberg, MD         
Principal Investigator: Kristi L. Watterberg, MD         
United States, New York
University of Rochester Recruiting
Rochester, New York, United States, 14642
Contact: Carl T D'Angio, MD    585-273-4911      
Principal Investigator: Carl T D'Angio, MD         
United States, North Carolina
RTI International Active, not recruiting
Durham, North Carolina, United States, 27705
Duke University Recruiting
Durham, North Carolina, United States, 27710
Contact: C. Michael Cotten, MD         
Sub-Investigator: C. Michael Cotten, MD MHS         
United States, Ohio
Case Western Reserve University, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital Recruiting
Cleveland, Ohio, United States, 44106
Contact: Michele C. Walsh, MD MS         
Principal Investigator: Michele C. Walsh, MD MS         
Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital Recruiting
Columbus, Ohio, United States, 43205
Contact: Pablo Sanchez, MD         
Principal Investigator: Pablo Sanchez, MD         
United States, Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania Recruiting
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Contact: Barbara Schmidt, MD         
Principal Investigator: Barbara Schmidt, MD         
United States, Rhode Island
Brown University, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island Recruiting
Providence, Rhode Island, United States, 02905
Contact: Abbot R. Laptook, MD         
Principal Investigator: Abbot R. Laptook, MD         
United States, Texas
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas Recruiting
Dallas, Texas, United States, 75235
Contact: Myra Wyckoff, MD         
Principal Investigator: Myra Wyckoff, MD         
University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston Recruiting
Houston, Texas, United States, 77030
Contact: Kathleen A. Kennedy, MD MPH         
Principal Investigator: Kathleen A. Kennedy, MD MPH         
Sub-Investigator: Jon E. Tyson, MD MPH         
Sponsors and Collaborators
NICHD Neonatal Research Network
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
Study Director: Tarah Colaizy, MD, MPH University of Iowa
Principal Investigator: Michele C Walsh, MD Case Western Reserve University, Rainbow Babies and Children's Hospital
Principal Investigator: Seetha Shankaran, MD Wayne State University
Principal Investigator: Abbot R Laptook, MD Brown University, Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island
Principal Investigator: Ron N Goldberg, MD Duke University
Principal Investigator: Barbara J Stoll, MD Emory University
Principal Investigator: Brenda B Poindexter, MD, MS Indiana University
Principal Investigator: Abhik Das, PhD RTI International
Principal Investigator: Krisa P Van Meurs, MD Stanford University
Principal Investigator: Waldemar A Carlo, MD University of Alabama at Birmingham
Principal Investigator: Kristi L Watterberg, MD University of New Mexico
Principal Investigator: Pablo J Sanchez, MD University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Principal Investigator: Kathleen A Kennedy, MD, MPH The University of Texas Health Science Center, Houston
Principal Investigator: Barbara Schmidt, MD University of Pennsylvania
Principal Investigator: Carl T D'Angio, MD University of Rochester
Principal Investigator: Leif Nelin, MD Research Institute at Nationwide Children's Hospital
Principal Investigator: William Truog, MD Children's Mercy Hospital Kansas City
  More Information

Additional Information:
Responsible Party: NICHD Neonatal Research Network Identifier: NCT01534481     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: NICHD-NRN-0047  U10HD021364  U10HD040689  U10HD021385  U10HD027851  U10HD027853  U10HD027856  U10HD027904  U10HD027880  U10HD034216  U10HD021373  U10HD040492  U10HD053109  U10HD040461  U10HD068244  U10HD068263  U10HD068278  U10HD068284  U10HD036790 
Study First Received: February 13, 2012
Last Updated: September 20, 2016

Keywords provided by NICHD Neonatal Research Network:
NICHD Neonatal Research Network
Extremely Low Birth Weight (ELBW)
Neurodevelopmental Impairment
Donor Breast Milk
Preterm Formula

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Body Weight
Birth Weight
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on February 24, 2017