What is the role biomarkers in the diagnosis of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)?

Updated: Dec 27, 2017
  • Author: Shelley C Springer, JD, MD, MSc, MBA, FAAP; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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Answer

Reducing substances may be identified in the stool of formula-fed infants because poorly digested carbohydrates are fermented in the colon and excreted in stool. Similarly, results from a breath hydrogen test may be positive with increased carbohydrate fermentation. Although early diagnosis is one of the most important ways to minimize morbidity and mortality, the lack of early biomarkers has hampered the clinician's ability to reliably distinguish early NEC from benign feeding intolerance. Results from a cohort of 119 premature infants, 85 of whom had NEC, published in the Journal of Pediatrics is encouraging for the possible identification of 7 urine protein biomarkers. [33]


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