Morbidity and mortality among “big” babies who develop necrotizing enterocolitis: A prospective multicenter cohort analysis Academic Article uri icon

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  • BACKGROUND: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is classically a disease of prematurity, with less reported regarding morbidity and mortality of this disease among other infants. METHODS: Data were prospectively collected from 2009 to 2015 at 252 Vermont Oxford Network member centers on neonates with birth weight>2500g admitted to a participating NICU within 28days of birth. RESULTS: Of 1629 neonates with NEC, gestational age was 37 (36, 39) weeks, and 45% had major congenital anomalies, most commonly gastrointestinal defects (20%), congenital heart defects (18%), and chromosomal anomalies (7%). For the 23% of infants who had surgery for NEC, mortality and length of stay were 23% and 63 (36, 94) days versus 8% and 34 (22, 61) days in medical NEC. Independent predictors of mortality were congenital heart defects (p<0.0001), chromosomal abnormalities (p<0.05), other congenital malformations (p<0.001), surgical NEC (p<0.0001), and sepsis (p<0.05). All of these in addition to gastrointestinal defects were independent predictors of increased length of stay. Nutritional morbidity at discharge included 6% receiving no enteral feeds and 27% who were <10th percentile weight-for-age. CONCLUSIONS: Major congenital anomalies are present in nearly half of >2500g birth weight infants diagnosed with necrotizing enterocolitis. Morbidity and mortality increase with sepsis, surgical disease, and congenital anomalies. TYPE OF STUDY: Prognosis Study. LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Level II.


  • Velazco, Cristine S
  • Fullerton, Brenna S
  • Hong, Charles R
  • Morrow, Kate A
  • Edwards, Erika M
  • Soll, Roger
  • Jaksic, Tom
  • Horbar, Jeffrey D
  • Modi, Biren P

publication date

  • January 2018