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Study sheds light on deadly GI disease in infants born with complex congenital heart disease
Date:5/26/2010

ality of life measures related to both surgical approaches," said Dr. Luce, also an assistant professor of Pediatrics at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.

In the study, Dr. Luce and colleagues from The Heart Center at Nationwide Children's Hospital evaluated charts of 73 patients who underwent hybrid stage I procedure for the treatment of complex congenital heart disease at Nationwide Children's during a six-year period. Of these 73 patients, 11 percent developed moderate to severe NEC post-operatively, an average of eight days after surgery.

This percentage is similar in neonates undergoing the Norwood procedure. However, only two of the Nationwide Children's patients required abdominal surgery for NEC, compared to nearly 60 percent of patients documented in other reports.

"Our early and aggressive treatment of neonates with symptoms of NEC in this high risk population appears to be warranted and may contribute to the relatively low need for abdominal surgery in this patient population," said Dr. Luce.

To help identify risk factors associated with NEC and this patient population, the investigators examined pregnancy factors such as mother's age and history of prenatal care; pre-surgical factors such as ventilation at the time of the procedure and maximum dose of prostaglandin infusion a medicine required to maintain blood flow to the body in patients with HLHS and other forms of complex congenital heart disease that result in decreased or no blood flow to the body ; and factors related to the surgery including patient's age on the day of surgery and the mode in which the vascular stent was placed during the procedure. Of all of the factors they compared, only three were significantly associated with NEC babies who were born fewer than 37 weeks gestational age, those who received a lower maximum dose of prostaglandin infusion, and those who had an unexpected readmission to the intensive care unit.

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Contact: Mary Ellen Peacock
MaryEllen.Peacock@NationwideChildrens.org
614-355-0495
Nationwide Children's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert

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