Effect of necrotizing enterocolitis on urinary epidermal growth factor levels
Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a peptide thought to be involved in the healing of wounds and injuries occurring in the intestinal tract. It appears to stimulate growth of new tissue needed to replace damaged tissue. Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC), a gut injury found in newborn infants, is characterized by tissue destruction. This study investigated whether EGF levels are higher in infants with NEC than in normal infants. To measure EGF levels, urine was collected from infants with NEC and infants who underwent surgery. A total of 53 infants with NEC were examined; results were assessed for 28 infants who were less than 2 weeks old when the study began. The effects of surgery on the EGF levels of an additional 47 infants were considered. Results showed that in infants with stage II or stage III NEC, EGF levels were significantly higher during the course of the disease than before or after it. This variation in EGF levels was not observed in infants with stage I NEC. Results from infants who underwent surgery showed no significant change in EGF levels postoperatively. Infants not suffering from NEC were tested for EGF levels before and after oral feeding was begun. EGF levels did not change after these feedings started. The results indicate that EGF levels are increased in infants suffering from stage II or III NEC. This may be a useful test for distinguishing infants with NEC from those with bowel dysfunction. (Consumer Summary produced by Reliance Medical Information, Inc.)
Publication Name: American Journal of Diseases of Children
Are Screening Echocardiograms Warranted for Neonates With Meningomyelocele?
All newborn babies with meningomyelocele should have an echocardiogram to see if they have heart defects. Meningomyelocele occurs when part of the spinal cord protrudes through a hole in the baby's back. In a study of 105 newborn babies with meningomyelocele, echocardiograms showed that 39 (37%) also had a congenital heart defect. The most common defect was an atrial septal defect, which occurred in one-fourth of the babies with a heart defect. Sixty-four percent of the babies with heart defects were girls.
Publication Name: Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
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