The significance of intrauterine growth restriction is different from prematurity for the outcome of infants with gastroschisis
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BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: Recent reviews of gastroschisis identify prematurity and low birth weight as predictors of morbidity and mortality. The authors compared the outcomes of intrauterine growth-restricted infants (IUGR) with gastroschisis to those without growth restriction because IUGR is different from prematurity. METHODS: A retrospective analysis was performed for infants born with gastroschisis between 1990 and 2000 at 2 pediatric hospitals. Patients were segregated into 3 groups based on birth weight corrected for gestational age: group 1 (IUGR, 25th percentile). Patient demographics, method of closure, number of surgeries, presence of atresia, and time to full enteral feedings (FPO days) were assessed. Mortality rate, length of stay (LOS), and readmission rates were also compared. Analysis of variance (ANOVA)/Student's t test and Fisher's. Exact tests were used for statistical analysis (P <.05 significant). Regression analysis was also performed. RESULTS: One hundred thirteen patients were included (group 1 = 17; group 2 = 43; group 3 = 53). Overall, infants with IUGR had similar outcomes to non-IUGR infants, including FPO and total parenteral nutrition (TPN) days, LOS, readmission, and mortality rates. The method of closure did not affect outcome. Infants with atresia had significantly increased times to full feeding (95 v 34 days; P =.034), more surgeries (2.7 v 1.4; P =.002), and longer LOS (106 v 48 days; P =.011). Infants born at less than 37 weeks' gestation had significantly increased fasting (NPO) days (28 v 18 days; P =.005) and longer LOS (65 v 37 days; P =.006) when compared with infants born at greater than 37 weeks. Logistic regression analysis identified the presence of atresia as an independent risk factor for gastrointestinal dysfunction and the need for prolonged TPN. Prematurity also adversely affected these same parameters, although it did not reach statistical significance. CONCLUSIONS: Although infants with gastroschisis are generally small for gestational age, the outcomes of growth-restricted infants are similar to those of other infants. The type of closure does not affect outcome, regardless of birth weight. The presence of atresia or prematurity does lead to longer times for full feeding and LOS. Therefore, routine premature delivery of infants with gastroschisis should not be advocated, even in the context of IUGR.
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