The value of contrast studies in the evaluation of bowel strictures after necrotising enterocolitis
Between 1982 and 1992, 22 patients were treated with colonic strictures in the course of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Fourteen newborns in whom a primary enterostomy and, when necessary, resection of necrotic bowel was performed developed strictures in the diverted colon. The strictures were detected by colon contrast enema study performed on average 3 months after the first intervention. Eight additional children suffered from an ileus due to primary strictures after conservatively treated NEC, which was surgically managed by enterostomy. Closure of the enterostomy and resection of the stenotic part of the colon was performed thereafter in all 22 children as a single stage procedure. There was no insufficiency of the anastomosis nor any late stricture at follow-up 2.7 years after NEC in our patients. It is concluded therefore that reanastomosis of the enterostomy and resection of an intestinal stricture can be performed as a single stage procedure without any risk after an interval of 3 months between onset of acute NEC and reevaluation. During this interval, a close monitoring and an appropriate management of adequate supplement of electrolytes and bicarbonates is necessary. Most of our babies could be nursed at home and showed a good weight gain during this period, despite the enterostomy.