Validating a Neonatal Risk Index to Predict Necrotizing Enterocolitis
AuthorGephart, Sheila Maria
KeywordsNeonatal Intensive Care
AdvisorEffken, Judith A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractNecrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a costly and deadly disease in neonates. Composite risk for NEC is poorly understood and consensus has not been established on the relevance of risk factors. This two-phase study attempted to validate and test a neonatal NEC risk index, GutCheck(NEC). Phase I used an E-Delphi methodology in which experts (n=35) rated the relevance of 64 potential NEC risk factors. Items were retained if they achieved predefined levels of expert consensus or stability. After three rounds, 43 items were retained (CVI=.77). Qualitative analysis revealed two broad themes: individual characteristics of vulnerability and the impact of contextual variation within the NICU on NEC risk. In Phase II, the predictive validity of GutCheck(NEC) was evaluated using a sample from the Pediatrix BabySteps Clinical Data Warehouse (CDW). The sample included infants born<1500 grams, before 36 weeks, and without congenital anomalies or spontaneous intestinal perforation (N=58,818, of which n=35,005 for empiric derivation and n=23,813 for empiric validation). Backward stepwise likelihood-ratio method regression was used to reduce the number of predictive factors in GutCheck(NEC) to 11 and derive empiric weights. Items in the final GutCheck(NEC) were gestational age, history of a transfusion, NICU-specific NEC risk, late onset sepsis, multiple infections, hypotension treated with Inotropic medications, Black or Hispanic race, outborn status, metabolic acidosis, human milk feeding on both day 7 and day 14 (reduces risk) and probiotics (reduces risk).Discrimination was fair in the case-control sample (AUC=.67, 95% CI .61-.73) but better in the validation set (AUC=.76, 95% CI .75-.78) and best for surgical NEC (AUC=.84, 95% CI .82-.84) and infants who died from NEC (AUC=.83, 95% CI .81-.85). A GutCheck(NEC) score of 33 (range 0-58) yielded a sensitivity of .78 and a specificity of .74 in the validation set. Intra-individual reliability was acceptable (ICC (19) =.97, p<.001). Future research is needed to repeat this procedure in infants between 1500 and 2500 grams, complete psychometric testing, and explore unit variation in NEC rates using a comprehensive approach.
Degree ProgramGraduate College