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A role for neonatal bacteremia in deaths due to intestinal perforation: spontaneous intestinal perforation compared with perforated necrotizing enterocolitis.



To examine the relationship between intestinal perforations (caused by either spontaneous perforation (SIP) or necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)) and the outcome "death due to intestinal perforation".


Multivariable logistic regression analyses were used to compare infants <28 weeks' gestation with SIP (n = 32) and perforated-NEC (n = 45) for the outcome perforation-related death.


In univariate analyses the incidence of death due to perforation was higher among infants with perforated-NEC (36%) than infants with SIP (13%). However, infants with perforated-NEC were more likely to be older than 10 days and have bacteremia/fungemia with non-coagulase-negative staphylococci (non-CONS) organisms than infants with SIP. After adjusting for confounding the only variable that was significantly associated with mortality due to perforation was the presence of non-CONS bacteremia/fungemia at the onset of perforation.


The apparent association between death and perforated-NEC could be explained by the higher incidence of non-CONS bacteremia/fungemia among infants with perforated-NEC.

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