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October 1988

Necrotizing enterocolitis: value of radiographic findings to predict outcome

Abstract

To investigate whether radiographic findings could be used to predict pan-necrosis (necrosis of 75% or more of the jejunum, ileum, and colon), we reviewed the serial abdominal radiographs and clinical records of 147 infants with necrotizing enterocolitis. Pan-necrosis occurred in 29 infants (20%) and was always fatal. The presence and degree of pneumatosis intestinalis, pneumoperitoneum and portal venous gas were studied. Pan-necrosis occurred least frequently in infants with mild or moderate pneumatosis intestinalis (8% and 12%, respectively), and with moderate frequency in those with pneumoperitoneum (33%). Pan-necrosis was found most frequently in infants with severe pneumatosis intestinalis (56%), portal venous gas (61%), or the combination of severe pneumatosis intestinalis and portal venous gas (79%). The mortality rates in these three groups were 63%, 65%, and 86%, respectively. Thus, infants with the worst outcome (those who develop pan-necrosis) can be identified on plain films by detection of severe pneumatosis intestinalis and portal venous gas.

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Published In

American Journal of Roentgenology
Pages: 771 - 774
PubMed: 3262277

Authors

Affiliations

AM Kosloske
Department of Surgery and Pediatrics, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87106.
CA Musemeche
Department of Surgery and Pediatrics, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87106.
WS Ball, Jr
Department of Surgery and Pediatrics, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87106.
DS Ablin
Department of Surgery and Pediatrics, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87106.
N Bhattacharyya
Department of Surgery and Pediatrics, University of New Mexico School of Medicine, Albuquerque 87106.

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