Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) often leads to gastrointestinal emergency resulting high mortality in very low birth weight infants (VLBWIs) requiring surgery. To date, few studies have explored the role of serum cytokines in the development of feeding intolerance (FI) or NEC outcomes in VLBWIs. Infants born weighing <1500 g or of 32 weeks of gestational age were prospectively enrolled from May 2018 to Dec 2019. We measured several cytokines routinely within 72 h of life, even before NEC-like symptoms developed. NEC or FI group comprised 17 (27.4%) infants, and 6 (9.7%) infants had surgical NEC. The gestational age and birth weight were significantly lower in the NEC or FI group with more prematurity-related complications. The surgical NEC group also demonstrated significantly lower gestational age and birth weight along with more infants experiencing refractory hypotension within a 1 week of life, pulmonary hypertension, and patent ductus arteriosus. IL-10 levels were significantly higher in the NEC or FI group, whereas IL-8 levels were significantly higher in the infants with surgical NEC. Our findings indicated to IL-8 can predict surgical NEC while increased IL-10 can predict NEC development in VLBWIs.
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