A population-based study of the outcome after small bowel atresia/stenosis in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory, Australia, 1992-2003

Karen Walker, Nadia Badawi, Celine H Hamid, Amish Vora, Robert Halliday, Claire Taylor, Edward Shi, G T Roy, Edward Simpson, Andrew J A Holland et al.
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 2008, 43 (3): 484-8

PURPOSE: The purpose of the study was to describe the incidence, epidemiology, and survival of infants with small bowel atresia/stenosis in New South Wales (NSW) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Australia.

METHODS: A population-based cohort study was conducted of infants diagnosed with small bowel atresia/stenosis in NSW and the ACT from 1992 to 2003. Data were obtained from the prospectively collated NSW and ACT Neonatal Intensive Care Units' data collection. Individual risk factors for mortality were assessed using the chi(2) test.

RESULTS: The incidence of small bowel atresia/stenosis in NSW and the ACT was 2.9 per 10,000 births. Of 299 infants identified with small bowel atresia, 13 were stillborn. Of the 286 live born infants, most (52%) were delivered preterm (<37 weeks' gestation) with an 87% survival, whereas 48% were term with a 98% survival. More than half the infants (54%) had an associated birth defect. The overall mortality was 8%. Prematurity and low birth weight were identified as independent risk factors for mortality (P < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: This study of small bowel atresia/stenosis provides population-based outcomes for clinicians and families. It is important to investigate infants with small bowel atresia for associated birth defects. Although the mortality rate has decreased over the last 50 years, it remains substantial at 8% and is higher in premature and low birth weight infants.

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