Predicting morbidity and mortality in neonates born with gastroschisis

Document Type



Paediatric Surgery


Background: Gastroschisis is an increasingly common congenital abdominal wall defect. Due to advances in neonatal critical care and early surgical management, mortality from gastroschisis and associated complications has decreased to less than 10% in most series. However, it has been recognized that the outcome of gastroschisis has a spectrum and that the disorder affects a heterogeneous cohort of neonates. The goal of this study is to predict morbidity and mortality in neonates with gastroschisis using clinically relevant variables.
Methods: A multicenter, retrospective observational study of neonates born with gastroschisis was conducted. Neonatal characteristics and outcomes were collected and compared. Prediction of morbidity and mortality was performed using multivariate clinical models.
Results: Five hundred and sixty-six neonates with gastroschisis were identified. Overall survival was 95%. Median hospital length of stay was 37 d. Sepsis was diagnosed in 107 neonates. Days on parenteral nutrition and mechanical ventilation were considerable with a median of 27 and 5 d, respectively. Complex gastroschisis (atresia, perforation, volvulus), preterm delivery (<37 >wk), and very low birth weight (<1500 >g) were associated with worse clinical outcomes including increased sepsis, short bowel syndrome, parenteral nutrition days, and length of stay. The composite metric of birth weight, Apgar score at 5 min, and complex gastroschisis was able to successfully predict mortality (area under the curve, 0.81).
Conclusions: Clinical variables can be used in gastroschisis to distinguish those who will survive from nonsurvivors. Although these findings need to be validated in other large multicenter data sets, this prognostic score may aid practitioners in the identification and management of at-risk neonates.


Issue no. is not provided by the author/publisher. This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Journal of Surgical Research