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!
Exploring a new frontier of cyber-physical systems: The human body
18.05.2015 | National Science Foundation
Soft-tissue engineering for hard-working cartilage
18.05.2015 | Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.
Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...
Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services
To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...
The world's first electrical car and passenger ferry powered by batteries has entered service in Norway. The ferry only uses 150 kWh per route, which...
On Tuesday, 19 May 2015 the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its home port in Bremerhaven, setting a course for the Arctic. Led by Dr Ilka Peeken from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI) a team of 53 researchers from 11 countries will investigate the effects of climate change in the Arctic, from the surface ice floes down to the seafloor.
RV Polarstern will enter the sea-ice zone north of Spitsbergen. Covering two shallow regions on their way to deeper waters, the scientists on board will focus...
Nanoengineers at the University of California, San Diego developed a gel filled with toxin-absorbing nanosponges that could lead to an effective treatment for skin and wound infections caused by MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus), an antibiotic-resistant bacteria. This "nanosponge-hydrogel" minimized the growth of skin lesions on mice infected with MRSA - without the use of antibiotics. The researchers recently published their findings online in Advanced Materials.
To make the nanosponge-hydrogel, the team mixed nanosponges, which are nanoparticles that absorb dangerous toxins produced by MRSA, E. coli and other...
20.05.2015 | Event News
18.05.2015 | Event News
12.05.2015 | Event News
22.05.2015 | Materials Sciences
22.05.2015 | Information Technology
22.05.2015 | Materials Sciences