Article Text

Download PDFPDF

Risk factors for necrotising enterocolitis: the influence of gestational age.
  1. P J Beeby,
  2. H Jeffery
  1. Department of Perinatal Medicine, King George V Memorial Hospital, Camperdown, NSW, Australia.


    Over a 7 year study period, 82 infants were identified who had necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). A case-control study of the 74 preterm infants was performed to determine those factors which contributed to the development of NEC. The 35 infants with NEC and gestation between 30-36 weeks, when compared with control infants matched for gestational age, had significantly lower birthweight centiles, cord pH, and 1 minute Apgar scores. By contrast, there were no significant differences between the 39 infants with NEC and controls in the 25-29 week group, except that fewer babies with NEC had received breast milk. The eight term babies all appeared to have an obvious predisposing event. We thus propose a model in which susceptibility to NEC is dependent on gestational age. In the 25-29 week range all babies are at risk on the basis of extreme prematurity. In the 30-36 week range asphyxiated and growth retarded babies are at increased risk, while at term a major predisposing event appears to be required.

    Statistics from

    Request Permissions

    If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.