Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Posted by e-Medical PPT Thursday, July 1, 2010
Necrotizing enterocolitis is the most common GI emergency occurring in neonates. Necrotizing enterocolitis represents a significant clinical problem and affects close to 10% of infants who weigh less than 1500 g, with mortality rates of 50% or more. Premature babies are at risk for developing necrotizing enterocolitis for several weeks after birth, with the age of onset inversely related to gestational age at birth.Premature infants with patent ductus arteriosus are at higher risk of developing necrotizing enterocolitis earlier in life, particularly if treated with indomethacin for pharmacologic closure. However, patients with persistent patent ductus arteriosus that ultimately required surgical ligation had a higher necrotizing enterocolitis mortality rate than those whose patent ductus arteriosus were successfully closed without surgery.Though the exact etiology remains unknown, research suggests that it is multifactorial; ischemia and/or reperfusion injury, exacerbated by activation of proinflammatory intracellular cascades, may play a significant role.
Initial symptoms may be subtle and can include one or more of the following:
Feeding intolerance,Delayed gastric emptying,Abdominal distention and Ileus/decreased bowel sounds.

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