Clinical determinants of intestinal failure and death in preterm infants with surgical necrotizing enterocolitis

Garg, P.M., Denton, M.X., Talluri, R., Ansari, M.A.Y., Riddick, R., Ostrander, M.M., McDonald, A.G., Premkumar, M.H., Hillegass, W.B., Garg, P.P. | JNPM 2024;

OBJECTIVE: We sought to investigate the clinical determinants of intestinal failure and death in preterm infants with surgical NEC. METHODS: Retrospective comparison of clinical information between Group A = intestinal failure (Parenteral nutrition (PN) >90 days) and death and Group B = survivors and with PN dependence < 90 days in preterm infants with surgical NEC. RESULTS: Group A (n = 99/143) had a lower mean gestational age (26.4 weeks [SD3.5] vs. 29.4 [SD 3.5]; p = 0.013), lower birth weight (873 gm [SD 427g] vs. 1425 gm [894g]; p = <0.001), later age of NEC onset (22 days [SD20] vs. 16 days [SD 17]; p = 0.128), received surgery later (276 hours [SD 544] vs. 117 hours [SD 267]; p = 0.032), had cholestasis, received dopamine (80.6% vs. 58.5%; p = 0.010) more frequently and had longer postoperative ileus time (19.8 days [SD 15.4] vs. 11.8 days [SD 6.5]; p = <0.001) and reached full feeds later (93 days [SD 45] vs. 44 [SD 22]; p = <0.001) than Group B.On multivariate logistic regression, higher birth weight was associated with lower risk (OR 0.35, 95% CI 0.15–0.82; p = 0.016) of TPN > 90 days or death. Longer length of bowel resected (OR 1.76, 95% CI 1.02–3.02; p = 0.039) and longer postoperative ileus (OR 2.87, 95% CI 1.26–6.53; p = 0.011) were also independently associated with TPN >90days or death adjusted for gestational age and antenatal steroid treatment. CONCLUSION: In preterm infants with surgical NEC, clinical factors such as lower birth weight, longer bowel loss, and postoperative ileus days were significantly and independently associated with TPN >90 days or death.

*Corresponding Author: 

Parvesh M. Garg, Department of Pediatrics/Neonatology, Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist, Wake Forest School of Medicine, Winston Salem, NC, Tel.: +252 364 5800; E-mails: