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Jornal de Pediatria

Print version ISSN 0021-7557On-line version ISSN 1678-4782


OLIVEIRA, Nelson Diniz de  and  MIYOSHI, Milton Harumi. Advances in necrotizing enterocolitis. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2005, vol.81, n.1, suppl.1, pp.S16-S22. ISSN 0021-7557.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate recently reported findings on necrotizing enterocolitis, Paying particular attention to pathogenesis, management and preventative strategies. DATA SOURCES: The articles covered in this report consist of randomized and quasi-randomized trials, case control studies, meta-analyses and reviews published recently. Certain other articles were also included because of their utmost importance to the subject. RESULTS: Necrotizing enterocolitis remains a major cause of morbidity and mortality in preterm infants. Those who are born with intra-uterine-growth retardation are at a several-fold increased risk. Possible pathophysiologic processes beginning in utero and continuing after birth are discussed in this review. Other factors involved in the process are related to the role of arginine and the production of intestinal nitric oxide and the action of epidermal growth factor in the regulation of cell regeneration. Perforated necrotizing enterocolitis is a complex surgical problem; definitive evidence-based guidelines for the best approach are yet to be determined. After surgery, although residual small bowel length and the presence of the ileo-cecal valve remain important predictors of duration of parenteral nutrition in infants, other factors, such as the early use of breast milk or amino acid-based formula, may also play a role in intestinal re-adaptation. Prevention strategies have centered on feeding practices and emerging experiments such as amino acid supplementation, are also discussed. CONCLUSION: Significant results in terms of mortality and morbidity will be achieved through better understanding of necrotizing enterocolitis pathogenesis and clinical and surgical management in addition to the employment of preventative strategies.

Keywords : Necrotizing enterocolitis; prematurity; short bowel syndrome.

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