Affiliations: Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine, Minia University, Minia, Egypt | Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha, Saudi Arabia | Department of Biochemistry, Khamis Civil Hospital, Khamis Mushayt, Saudi Arabia
Note:  Corresponding author: Dr. Walid Abdel Wahab Mohamed, Department of Pediatrics, College of Medicine, King Khalid University, Abha P.O. Box 941, Saudi Arabia. Tel.: +966 502507894; Fax: +966 72418194; E-mail: [email protected]
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To evaluate epidermal growth factor (EGF) levels in cord blood as a possible marker for predicting the subsequent development of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in very low birth weight (VLBW) infants. PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 241 VLBW infants (38 infants developed NEC and 203 had no NEC) were enrolled. EGF concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. RESULTS: VLBW infants who subsequently developed NEC had significantly lower cord serum concentrations of EGF than those who did not (p < 0.0001). Moreover, cord blood concentrations of EGF were significantly lower in infants with stage III than those with stage II or I NEC (p < 0.001). Logistic regression analysis demonstrated that low cord blood EGF was independently associated with the subsequent risk of NEC (OR = 0.978 [95% CI: 0.959–0.997]; p = 0.02). CONCLUSION: Low cord blood EGF concentrations may predict the subsequent development of NEC in VLBW infants.