Pediatric Surgery International

, Volume 31, Issue 11, pp 1061–1066 | Cite as

Doppler flowmetry of the superior mesenteric artery and portal vein: impact for the early prediction of necrotizing enterocolitis in neonates

  • Ausra  Urboniene
  • Arvydas  Palepsaitis
  • Rimantas  Uktveris
  • Vidmantas  Barauskas
Original Article



Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a serious gastrointestinal disorder in newborns. Early diagnosis and rapid treatment is essential for seeking good outcome for neonates. The aim of our study was to evaluate intestinal blood flow in superior mesenteric artery (SMA) and portal vein (PV) in neonates with suspected or confirmed NEC and investigate the prognostic cut-off values to develop NEC.


Doppler flowmetry of SMA and PV was performed for 62 newborns. Resistive (RI) and pulsatility (PI) indexes were measured in SMA as well as Volumetric blood flow (Vflow) in PV. ROC curves were applied to estimate sensitivity and specificity and to identify cut-off values.


There were 93.5 % preterm neonates. 29 patients (46.8 %) were diagnosed with NEC and 33 (53.2 %) formed a control group. 96.3 % NEC patients had RI >0.75 with sensitivity of 96.3 % and specificity of 90.9 % (OR 260). 88.9 % NEC patients had PI >1.85 with sensitivity of 88.9 % and specificity of 78.8 % (OR 29). Portal Vflow lower than 37 ml/min was present in 89.7 % patients with NEC (OR 11.7).


Intestinal blood flow Dopplerography can be a useful tool for diagnosing and predicting NEC.


Necrotizing enterocolitis Superior mesenteric artery Portal vein Doppler flowmetry 


Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards (Kaunas Regional Committee for Biomedical Research Ethics No. BE 2–17).

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants’ parents included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Pediatric Surgery DepartmentLithuanian University of Health SciencesKaunasLithuania
  2. 2.Radiology DepartmentLithuanian University of Health SciencesKaunasLithuania

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