Stoma Closure Improves Head Circumference Growth in Very Preterm Infants after Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Karina Dyrvig Honoré*, Malene Nygaard Johansen, Lars Rasmussen, Gitte Zachariassen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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INTRODUCTION:  Very preterm infants (VPIs) surgically treated for necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) are at risk of growth retardation. The aim of this study was to demonstrate and compare growth during the first 6 years of life in VPIs with stoma after NEC surgery with VPIs without NEC surgery.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:  We included all VPIs surgically treated due to NEC at the Odense University Hospital from August 1, 2004, to July 31, 2008. Outcome on growth was compared with a group of VPIs without NEC. The VPIs with NEC were identified searching the local database using the International Classification of Diseases, 10th Revision diagnosis of NEC (DP77.9). Data on growth were collected from medical files and if not present, the parents reported the data.

RESULTS:  Nineteen VPIs, surgically treated due to NEC, survived to 6 years of age. Median gestational age was 283/7 weeks (245/7-313/7). Median age at NEC surgery and stoma formation was 2.3 weeks (0.1-6.3) and median age at stoma closure was 2.5 months corrected age (CA) (postmenstrual age 36 weeks to CA 6.7 months). Compared with the non-NEC group, VPIs with NEC and stoma demonstrated poor growth, especially in head circumference (HC) with no increase in growth velocity before the time of stoma closure between 2.5- and 3-month CAs.

CONCLUSION:  Our findings demonstrate poor growth in VPIs after NEC surgery and improved HC growth after stoma closure.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)504-508
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • growth
  • necrotizing enterocolitis
  • nutrition
  • stoma closure
  • very preterm infants


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