Measuring blood flow to a newborns intestines using a special form of ultrasound can help radiologists identify a life-threatening complication in a serious bowel disease, according to a study in the May issue of the journal Radiology.
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is an acquired inflammatory gastrointestinal disease of unknown cause. It is the most common and serious gastrointestinal disorder among hospitalized premature babies, according to the Nemours Foundation. Symptoms include the inability to feed, abdominal bloating and difficulty emptying the stomach. The small and large intestine may cease to function properly and parts of the intestine can die, possibly leading to bowel perforation and death.
"The prognosis for NEC worsens once bowel perforation occurs," said the studys lead author, Ricardo Faingold, M.D., currently an assistant professor of radiology at McGill University in Montreal. "Earlier detection of necrotic or dead bowel in NEC will improve an infants chance for survival."
Doug Dusik | EurekAlert!
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