Objective The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of maternal preeclampsia on development and severity of NEC in premature infants.
Methods This study consisted 2 groups of preterm infants (≤37 gestational age): the study group contained preterm infants born to a preeclamptic mother and the comparison group contained preterm infants born to a normotensive mother. NEC was diagnosed according to clinical and radiographic findings, and it was classified according to modified Bell’s criteria.
Result The study group consisted 174 premature infants born to preeclamptic mothers and the control group consisted 327 premature infants born to normotensive mothers. There were a total of 88 infants (40 infants in the study group and 48 infants in the control group) who had NEC diagnosis. The incidence of NEC in infants born to preeclamptic mothers (22.9%) was significantly higher compared with those born to normotensive mothers (14.6%). NEC was more advanced in preeclamptic mother infants. NEC developed significantly earlier in infants with NEC in the study group compared to those with NEC in the control group. The duration of NEC was also significantly longer in infants born to preeclamptic mothers.
Conclusion Maternal preeclampsia may be an important risk factor for development of NEC in premature infants as NEC incidence and severity of NEC were found to be significantly higher in premature infants born to preeclamptic mothers. Also, NEC developed significantly earlier in preeclamptic mother infants and duration of NEC was also found to be significantly longer in these infants.