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VOLUME 1 , ISSUE 1 ( January-March, 2022 ) > List of Articles


Intestinal Resection is More Likely to be Effective in Necrotizing Enterocolitis Extending to Colon than in Disease Limited to the Small Intestine

Parvesh M Garg, Jaslyn L Paschal, Katherine Lett, Charles Middleton, Neha Varshney

Keywords : Necrotizing enterocolitis, Neonatology, Newborn

Citation Information : Garg PM, Paschal JL, Lett K, Middleton C, Varshney N. Intestinal Resection is More Likely to be Effective in Necrotizing Enterocolitis Extending to Colon than in Disease Limited to the Small Intestine. 2022; 1 (1):14-26.

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-11002-0024

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 31-03-2022

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2022; The Author(s).


Background: The prognosis in surgical necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) has focused on the total length of the resected bowel; the relative impact of small intestinal vs colonic resection is not well studied. Objective: We hypothesized that intestinal resections may reduce mortality and length of hospital stay (LOS) more likely in infants who have NEC extending into the colon than in those with disease limited to the small intestine. We also investigated the relationship between gestational maturation and NEC-related mortality. Methods: A retrospective study of 153 patients compared demographic, clinical, and histopathological information in infants who had NEC limited to the small intestine vs disease with colonic involvement. Results: Our 153 infants had a mean (±standard deviation) gestational age of 27.4 ± 3.4 weeks and a birth weight of 987 ± 505 g. NEC was limited to the small intestine in 103 (67.3%) infants and extended into the colon in 50 (32.7%). Infants with small intestinal NEC needed shorter bowel resections of 28 ± 31.9 cm than 42.2 ± 40.7 cm in those with colonic involvement (p = 0.02). The LOS was longer in NEC limited to the small intestine than in disease with colonic lesions (96 ± 88.1 vs 69.7 ± 19.1 days; p <0.05). In small intestinal NEC, mortality decreased to <50% beyond a gestational age (GA) >37 weeks. In contrast, infants with NEC that involved the colon had mortality <50% mortality beyond 27.3 weeks’ GA (p = 0.008). Conclusions: Bowel resections may be more likely associated with shorter LOS in surgical NEC that involves both the small bowel and colon, even when longer segments of the gastrointestinal tract are removed, than in disease limited to the small intestine.

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