The acute abdomen in the newborn.

Gustavo Rocha, Carla Costa, J Correia-Pinto, Joaquim Monteiro, Hercília Guimarães

Abstract


clinicians must be aware of the wide range of disorders causing acute abdomen in the newborn, a frequent condition that causes challenging problems from many aspects.to evaluate our incidence of acute abdomen in the newborn, main aetiologies, antenatal diagnosis, clinical presentation and evolution. Methods: a retrospective chart review at a tertiary centre neonatal intensive care unit, from 1997 to 2006.233 (4.9%) out of 4743 newborns had acute abdomen. Conditions causing abdominal distension were the most frequent (39.5%), followed by conditions causing peritonitis (33.9%), abdominal wall anomalies (23.6%), functional obstructions (1.7%), and bleeding disorders (1.3%); 158 (67.8%) patients underwent surgical intervention, and 39 (16.7) were deceased. Antenatal diagnosis rate was 50%.some conditions associated to acute abdomen in the newborn are obvious, but others are rare and provide challenging problems in respect to diagnosis and treatment. Antenatal diagnosis, early recognition and timely transfer for surgery may avoid deterioration and loss of functioning bowel.

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