Periventricular Leukomalacia Following Bowel Resection for Necrotizing Enterocolitis in a Premature Neonate
pediatrics and neonatology, neonatal intensive care unit (nicu), pediatric gi surgery, periventricular leukomalacia, necrotizing enterocolitis, premature neonate
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) are relatively common conditions in premature infants with low birth weight (VLBW). However, in the current literature, there are limited case reports of patients with concomitant NEC and PVL. We report a case of a premature female born at a gestational age of 25 weeks and five days who developed cystic intracranial lesions after emergent bowel resection due to NEC. Transcranial ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging confirmed the presence of cystic PVL in the right middle cerebral artery distribution. Several observational studies note the association between spontaneous intestinal perforation, surgical NEC, and the presence of cystic PVL. When infants are unresponsive to medical management for NEC, exploratory laparotomy with resection of the necrotic or perforated intestine is indicated. However, infants treated surgically have poorer neurodevelopmental outcomes than those with medical therapy. Pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental impairment in preterm infants undergoing surgery involves dysfunctional cerebrovascular autoregulation (CAR), which is associated with harmful changes in cerebral perfusion that lead to neuronal injury. Ill preterm infants, such as those with NEC, cannot regulate cerebral perfusion appropriately, and impaired CAR may be present in more than half the preterm infants during laparotomy. Impaired CAR leads to poor cerebral perfusion that potentiates neuronal injury, such as PVL. This case also brings awareness to the need for adherence to screening practices for white matter injury in critical NICU patients through cost-effective transcranial ultrasound.
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Williams, Timothy B.; Kapoor, Sonia; and Bryan, Carleene, "Periventricular Leukomalacia Following Bowel Resection for Necrotizing Enterocolitis in a Premature Neonate" (2023). HPD Articles. 358.
© Copyright 2023 Williams et al.