Necrotizing enterocolitis: old problem with new hope.
ABSTRACT The incidence of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and mortality rate associated with this disease are not decreasing despite more than three decades of intensive research investigation and advances in neonatal intensive care. Although the etiology of NEC is not clearly elucidated, the most accepted hypothesis at present is that enteral feeding in the presence of intestinal hypoxia-ischemia-reperfusion, and colonization with pathogens provokes an inappropriately accentuated inflammatory response by the immature intestinal epithelial cells of the preterm neonate. However, delayed colonization of commensal flora with dysbiotic flora with a predominance of pathologic microorganisms plays a fundamental role in the pathogenesis of NEC. Recent studies have further identified that NEC infants have less diverse flora compared to age-matched controls without NEC. Increased gastric residual volume may be an early sign of NEC. An absolute neutrophil count of <1.5 × 10(9)/L and platelets below 100 × 10(9)/L are associated with an increased risk for mortality and gastrointestinal morbidity. Nonspecific supportive medical management should be initiated promptly. Sudden changes in vital signs such as tachycardia or impending shock may indicate perforation. A recent meta-analysis investigating using probiotics for prevention of NEC with a total of 2176 preterm very low birth weight infants found a success rate of just 1/25. Careful monitoring of the residual volume, and of serious changes in hemograms and vital signs may help in early diagnosis and prediction of when to perform medical or early surgical intervention. In term of prevention, administration of oral probiotics containing Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus is a simple and safe method that attempts to early establish of commensal flora balance to inhibit pathogenic flora and an inflammatory response.
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ABSTRACT: Neonates, especially those born prematurely, are at high risk of morbidity and mortality from sepsis. Multiple factors, including prematurity, invasive life-saving medical interventions, and immaturity of the innate immune system, put these infants at greater risk of developing infection. Although advanced neonatal care enables us to save even the most preterm neonates, the very interventions sustaining those who are hospitalized concurrently expose them to serious infections due to common nosocomial pathogens, particularly coagulase-negative staphylococci bacteria (CoNS). Moreover, the health burden from infection in these infants remains unacceptably high despite continuing efforts. In this paper, we review the epidemiology, immunological risk factors, diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and outcomes of neonatal infection due to the predominant neonatal pathogen CoNS.Clinical and Developmental Immunology 01/2013; 2013:586076. · 3.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Large animal models are an essential tool in the development of rationally-based new clinical therapies for preterm infants. We provide a description of the newborn pig as a model of the preterm neonate in terms of growth parameters, physiology and the requirement for intensive care over a range of gestational ages. Twenty-nine litters of piglets (n = 298) were delivered by caesarean section at six timepoints during gestation from 91d to 113d (term = 115d). Two groups, at 91 and 97d gestation, also received maternal glucocorticoid treatment. At four of these timepoints, piglets (n = 79) were ventilated, sedated and monitored using standard neonatal intensive care techniques for up to 8 h in various experimental protocols. Body weight increased from mean 697 g (SD 193) at 91d gestation to 1331 g (SD 368) at 113d gestation. Piglets delivered at 97d gestation were able to be resuscitated and kept alive for at least 8 h on respiratory support after surfactant administration. Maternal glucocorticoid treatment 48 h and 24 h hours prior to delivery reduced the requirement for ventilator support and improved cardiovascular stability. The pig provides a relevant model for the study of human preterm physiology and for investigation of novel therapies to improve outcomes.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(7):e68763. · 3.73 Impact Factor