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The Capital Region of Denmark - a part of Copenhagen University Hospital
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Laparoscopy to Assist Surgical Decisions Related to Necrotizing Enterocolitis in Preterm Neonates

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Aim of the Study: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a devastating intestinal disease that mainly affects preterm infants. Despite advancements in neonatal care, mortality of NEC remains high and controversies exist regarding the most appropriate time for surgical intervention and challenging of diagnosing NEC. Using a pig model of NEC, we aimed to examine if laparoscopy is feasible for diagnosis of NEC. Methods: Preterm caesarean-delivered piglets (n = 42) were fed with increasing amounts of infant formula up to 5 days to induce NEC. On days 3-5, we examined the intestine by laparoscopy under general anesthesia. The bowel was examined by tilting the pigs from supine position to the left and right side. Macroscopic NEC lesions were identified and graded according to a macroscopic scoring system, then a laparotomy was performed to rule out any organ injury and missed NEC lesions. Results: Visible NEC lesions (scores 4-6) were found in 26% (11/42) of the piglets. A positive predictive value of 100% was found for laparoscopy as a diagnostic marker of NEC in both colon and the small intestine. One piglet had a higher NEC score in the small intestine found at laparotomy, than at laparoscopy, resulting in a sensitivity of 67%, and a specificity of 100% for the small intestine. Conversely, both the sensitivity and specificity for colon was 100%. Acceptable levels of agreement was found, with minimal proportional bias in both colon and the small intestine for laparoscopy and laparotomy. Ultrasound examination had a lower sensitivity of 67% and specificity of 63%. All piglets were respiratory and circulatory stable during the procedure. Conclusions: In preterm piglets, laparoscopy is a feasible tool to diagnose NEC with a high positive predictive value and a high specificity.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of laparoendoscopic & advanced surgical techniques. Part A
Volume30
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)64-69
Number of pages6
ISSN1092-6429
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2020

ID: 59085225