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Am J Perinatol. 2017 Feb;34(3):229-233. doi: 10.1055/s-0035-1571149. Epub 2016 Jul 11.

Contrast Enema and Risk of Sepsis in Premature Babies: A 12-Year Retrospective Study.

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Division of Neonatology, Maimonides Infants and Children's Hospital, Maimonides Medical Center, Brooklyn, New York.


Objective The objective of this study was to investigate the association between contrast enema (CE) and clinical sepsis (CS) in premature babies (PB) and the role of antibiotics (ABs) in its prevention. Study Design A retrospective electronic chart review of preterm babies, who underwent CE during their stay in the neonatal intensive care unit. Group I includes CEs of babies exposed to AB during or within 48 hours of the procedure. Group II represents CEs of babies, not exposed to AB. Variables for both groups were collected and analyzed. Results There were 161 CEs performed in 133 babies. The overall incidence of CS after CE in preterm babies was 21/160 cases (13%). The incidence was significantly lower in Group I (1/79, 1.2%), compared with Group II (20/81, 24.7%) (p < 0.001). Six (30%) of the 20 babies from Group II had positive blood culture and all 20 required AB after the CE. There were no statistical differences in the variables between the two groups. Conclusion There is a possible association between CE and CS in preterm babies. ABs given during or before the procedure prevent this complication.

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