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J Korean Assoc Pediatr Surg. 2001 Dec;7(2):112-117. Korean. Original Article.
Kim DY , Kim SC , Kim AR , Kim KS , Pi SY , Kim IK .
Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
Department of Pediatrics, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

With the advances in neonatal intensive care, pediatric surgeons experience very low birth weight infants, weighing <1,500 g, more frequently. We report our 14 cases of very low birth weight infants with intestinal perforations without congenital causes, at the Asan Medical Center during the 11-year period from 1989 to 2000. The average birth weight was 919 g (563-1,490), and average gestational age was 206 days (161-286). There were nine males and five females. Operation was performed at an average age of 14.0 days (3-38). Ten neonates with symptomatic PDA were given indomethacin in an attempt to close the ductus. Bowel perforation involved the jejunum in two and ileum in twelve. At laparotomy, there were seven focal intestinal perforations, five typical NEC, one intussusception, and an unknown cause. Four neonates underwent resection and anastomosis of the bowel, and nine underwent exteriorization. One underwent resection and anastomosis after peritoneal drainage. Four patients had postoperative complications; two leakage of anastomosis, one stoma necrosis, and one internal herniation. Seven of fourteen patients survived (50.0%). Seven patients died of septic complication. There was a significant difference in the birth weight and gestational age in survivors compared with those who died (p<0.05). There was an increased risk of bowel perforation in indomethacin treatment for PDA. Careful clinical observation and keen judgment are essential for this particular group of infants.

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