To compare the use of rice-based oral rehydration solution (R-ORS), with the introduction of food immediately after rehydration ("early feeding"), using standard glucose-based oral rehydration solution (G-ORS) in the management of acute diarrhea, we conducted a four-cell randomized, controlled trial among 200 hospitalized Egyptian infants between 3 and 18 months of age. During the rehydration phase (first 4 hours), three groups were given G-ORS and a fourth group was given R-ORS. During the subsequent maintenance phase, the control group was given a soy-based, lactose-free formula (G-ORS+SF), a second group (G-ORS+RF) was given a rice-based formula, and a third group (G-ORS+rice) was given boiled rice. The fourth group (R-ORS+SF) continued to receive R-ORS for the first 24 hours of the maintenance period, followed by a soy-based lactose-free formula. During the first and second 24 hours of the maintenance period, infants in the three treatment groups had a lower mean stool output in comparison with the control group (p=0.006 and 0.03, respectively). The mean total stool output in the R-ORS+SF group was significantly lower than in the control group (p=0.02). There were no statistically significant differences among the four groups in the mean duration of diarrhea. We conclude that (1) infants who were given R-ORS had reduced total stool output (by 35%) compared with the control group and (2) feeding of boiled rice or a rice-based formula immediately after rehydration therapy was as efficacious as treatment with R-ORS alone for 24 hours, followed by feeding with a soy-based, lactose-free formula.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health