Researchers at Loyola University Health System have identified a marker to identify those infants who are at risk for the infection, enabling doctors to employ early preventive strategies. These findings were published in the latest issue of the Journal of Pediatric Surgery.
"This information will allow us to better care for these premature infants," said Jonathan Muraskas, MD, study investigator and co-medical director of Loyola's neonatal ICU. "Simple changes to blood transfusion practices, feeding patterns and treatment of these infants may significantly reduce the incidence of NEC."
NEC is the most common serious gastrointestinal disorder among preterm newborns. It affects up to 10 percent of extremely low birth weight infants and has a mortality rate of nearly 30 percent. There is no known cause for the disease, yet researchers believe it may result from a combination of decreased blood flow to the bowel, feeding patterns, infection, mechanical injury or abnormal immune response.
NEC occurs when the lining of the intestinal wall dies and tissue falls off. Most cases of NEC are mild to moderate and can be successfully treated with antibiotics. But in severe cases, a hole can develop in the intestine, allowing bacteria to leak into the abdomen causing a life-threatening infection.
This study evaluated 177 infants born at less than 32 weeks' gestation and/or babies who were less than 3 pounds, 3 ounces. Blood samples were collected from these infants within 72 hours of birth and weekly for four weeks to measure reticulated platelets (RP) and intestinal alkaline phosphatase (iAP). Of the 177 infants, 15 (8.5 percent) developed NEC. Of these, 93 percent had low RP levels and 60 percent had high iAP. Those infants with low RP levels were significantly more likely to develop NEC while those with high iAP showed a similar trend.
"Decreased reticulated platelets serve as a sensitive indicator for NEC onset," Dr. Muraskas said. "Further research also may find that infants with elevated iAP levels may be at risk for this serious illness."
This study was conducted in collaboration with Richard Kampanatkosol, MD, Tricia Thomson, MD, Phillip DeChristopher, MD, Sherri Yong, MD, and Walter Jeske, PhD, from Loyola University Health System; Omar Habeeb, MD, from Hutt Valley District Health Board, in Wellington, New Zealand; Loretto Glynn, MD, from Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital at Cadence Health; and Akhil Maheshwari, MD, from University of Illinois at Chicago.
Loyola has one of the premier neonatal ICUs in the Midwest. It has cared for more than 25,000 babies and holds the Guinness world record for the smallest surviving baby (9.2 ounces).
Nora Dudley | EurekAlert!
Discovery of a novel gene for hereditary colon cancer
29.07.2016 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn
New evidence: How amino acid cysteine combats Huntington's disease
27.07.2016 | Johns Hopkins Medicine
Transparent electronics devices are present in today’s thin film displays, solar cells, and touchscreens. The future will bring flexible versions of such devices. Their production requires printable materials that are transparent and remain highly conductive even when deformed. Researchers at INM – Leibniz Institute for New Materials have combined a new self-assembling nano ink with an imprint process to create flexible conductive grids with a resolution below one micrometer.
To print the grids, an ink of gold nanowires is applied to a substrate. A structured stamp is pressed on the substrate and forces the ink into a pattern. “The...
A new Fraunhofer MEVIS method conveys medical interrelationships quickly and intuitively with innovative visualization technology
On the monitor, a brain spins slowly and can be examined from every angle. Suddenly, some sections start glowing, first on the side and then the entire back of...
Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Ames Laboratory have discovered an unusual property of purple bronze that may point to new ways to achieve high temperature superconductivity.
While studying purple bronze, a molybdenum oxide, researchers discovered an unconventional charge density wave on its surface.
Munich Physicists have developed a novel electron microscope that can visualize electromagnetic fields oscillating at frequencies of billions of cycles per second.
Temporally varying electromagnetic fields are the driving force behind the whole of electronics. Their polarities can change at mind-bogglingly fast rates, and...
Breakup of continents with two speed: Continents initially stretch very slowly along the future splitting zone, but then move apart very quickly before the onset of rupture. The final speed can be up to 20 times faster than in the first, slow extension phase.phases
Present-day continents were shaped hundreds of millions of years ago as the supercontinent Pangaea broke apart. Derived from Pangaea’s main fragments Gondwana...
29.07.2016 | Event News
15.07.2016 | Event News
15.07.2016 | Event News
29.07.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering
29.07.2016 | Life Sciences
29.07.2016 | Event News