One-year outcomes following surgery for necrotising enterocolitis: a UK-wide cohort study

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Abstract

Objective

The objective was to describe outcomes and investigate factors affecting prognosis at 1 year post intervention for infants with surgical necrotising enterocolitis (NEC).

Design

Using the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons Congenital Anomalies Surveillance System, we conducted a prospective, multicentre cohort study of every infant reported to require surgical intervention for NEC in the UK and Ireland between 1 March 2013 and 28 February 2014. Association of independent variables with 1-year mortality was investigated using multivariable logistic regression analysis.

Setting

All 28 paediatric surgical centres in the UK and Ireland.

Patients

Infants were eligible for inclusion if they were diagnosed with NEC and deemed to require surgical intervention, regardless of whether that intervention was delivered.

Outcomes

Primary outcome was mortality within 1 year of the decision to intervene surgically.

Results

236 infants were included in the study. 208 (88%) infants had 1-year follow-up. 59 of the 203 infants with known survival status (29%, 95% CI 23% to 36%) died within 1 year of the decision to intervene surgically. Following adjustment, key factors associated with reduced 1-year mortality included older gestational age at birth (adjusted OR (aOR) 0.87, 95% CI 0.78 to 0.96). Being small for gestational age (SGA) (aOR 3.6, 95% CI 1.4 to 9.5) and requiring parenteral nutrition at 28 days post-decision to intervene surgically (aOR 3.5, 95% CI 1.1 to 11.03) were associated with increased 1-year mortality.

Conclusions

Parents of infants undergoing surgery for NEC should be counselled that there is approximately a 1:3 risk of death in the first post-operative year but that the risk is lower for infants who are of greater gestational age at birth, who are not SGA and who do not require parenteral nutrition at 28 days post-intervention.

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