Mater Sociomed 2016 Feb 30;28(1):53-6. Epub 2016 Jan 30.
Clinic of Pediatric Surgery, University Clinical Center, Sarajevo, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Background: necrotizing enterocolitis is a serious condition that affects mostly preterm infants, with high mortality rate.
Aim: to estimate the influence of potentially contributing factors of this multifactorial disease.
Methods: the study group included 51 necrotizing enterocolitis infants who were less than 37 week gestation who were hospitalized in NICU during a five year period. The control group consisted of 71 patients with approximately the same gestational age and birth weight. Average gestational age in the study group was 30.2 weeks (SD 3.7), average birth weight 1502g (SD 781.5). Average postnatal age in the time of the presenting NEC was 18.2 days (SD 12.8).
Results: Logistic regression estimates the influence of risk factors, which in our study related to the treatment of preterm infants on the likelihood of NEC development. Our regression model consisted of seven independent variables (nosocomial infections, mechanical ventilation, nasal continuous positive pressure, morphine, inotropes, blood transfusions, and H2 blockers), which were shown to have a statistically significant impact, X2 (7, n=1222) = 49.522, p<0.0001; two independent variables (nosocomial infection and H2 blockers use) were statistically significant. Preterm infants with nosocomial infection had a three times greater chance of developing NEC, and infants who received H2 blockers had a 1.5 higher risk.
Conclusions: Underlying pathology of very low birth weight infants and their treatment in NICU contribute to NEC development. Identifying risk factors can be crucial for the early diagnosis and outcome of disease. Awareness of risk factors should influence changes in practice to reduce the risk of NEC.