Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating morbidity usually seen in preterm infants, with extremely preterm neonates (EPT ≤28 weeks) considered at highest risk. Moderately preterm infants (MPT 28-34 weeks) constitute a large percentage of NICU admissions. In our retrospective data analysis of NEC in a single regional perinatal center, NEC was observed in 10% of extremely EPT and 7% of MPT, but only 0.7% of late-preterm/term admissions. There was an inverse relationship between postnatal age at onset of NEC and gestational age at birth. Among MPT infants with NEC, maternal hypertensive disorders (29%) and small for gestational age (SGA-15%) were more common than in EPT infants (11.6 and 4.6%, resp.). Congenital gastrointestinal anomalies were common among late preterm/term infants with NEC. SGA MPT infants born to mothers with hypertensive disorders are particularly at risk and should be closely monitored for signs of NEC. Identifying risk factors specific to each gestational age may help clinicians to tailor interventions to prevent NEC.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)