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Enteric fistulas and necrotizing enterocolitis


, : Enteric fistulas and necrotizing enterocolitis. Journal of Pediatric Surgery 31(9): 1268-1271

The incidence, presentation, significance, and outcome of infants with internal enteric fistula formation secondary to necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) were examined. Of 130 infants with NEC treated during a 7-year period, an enteric fistula developed in five (4%). The gestational age of these patients (3 boys, 2 girls) ranged from 25 to 40 weeks and their birth weight ranged from 800 to 3,460 g. Two had Down's syndrome. Plain abdominal radiographs showed widespread intramural gas in all, and portal vein gas in two. Four patients required early laparotomy, which confirmed extensive intestinal necrosis; a diverting jejunostomy or ileostomy was constructed in three, and the abdomen was closed with drainage in one. Fistulas were diagnosed by contrast radiology between 16 and 51 days after the onset of NEC, and were jejunocolic (2), ileocolic (2), and colocolic (1). They were associated with enteric stricture(s), an inflammatory mass, and clinical signs of intermittent sepsis. One infant with an ileocolic fistula died of sepsis before definitive surgical treatment. Of the four who underwent surgery, two survived after limited intestinal resection, but one of the two with short bowel syndrome died. Enteric fistula formation is a rare complication of NEC. Typically it occurs with colonic stricture(s) and is associated with signs of incomplete bowel obstruction and intermittent sepsis. Resectional surgery is successful, but there appears to be a significant risk of short bowel syndrome.

US$29.90

PMID: 8887099


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