During the first week of life, we examined the changes in the systemic, intestinal and cerebral circulation, and the circulatory responses to feeding in 10 small for gestational age (SGA) infants using the ultrasound Doppler technique. From day 1 to day 3, preprandial cardiac output decreased (p < 0.01), whereas mean blood pressure (p < 0.01), superior mesenteric artery mean flow velocity (Vmean; p < 0.01) and middle cerebral artery Vmean (p < 0.01) increased. On day 1, cardiac output was higher in the SGA than in those of term and preterm appropriate for gestational age infants reported from our laboratory. Preprandial superior mesenteric artery Vmean was inversely related to the degree of growth retardation (r = 0.63, p < 0.05). However, growth retardation did not influence the postprandial increase in superior mesenteric artery Vmean and end-diastolic flow velocity, or the cerebral circulation.

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