Blood group AB increases risk for surgical necrotizing enterocolitis and focal intestinal perforation in preterm infants with very low birth weight.

I Martynov, W Göpel, T K Rausch, C Härtel, A Franke, A R Franz, D Viemann, U H Thome, M Lacher, B W Ackermann
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Scientific Reports
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Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) and focal intestinal perforation (FIP) are two of the most common emergencies of the gastrointestinal tract in preterm infants with very low birth weight (VLBW, birth weight < 1500 g). Identification of risk factors among these children is crucial for earlier diagnosis and prompt intervention. In this study, we investigated a relationship between ABO blood groups and the risk for surgical NEC/FIP. We genotyped the ABO locus (rs8176746 and rs8176719) in VLBW infants enrolled in a prospective, population-based cohort study of the German Neonatal Network (GNN). Of the 10,257 VLBW infants, 441 (4.3%) had surgical NEC/FIP. In univariate analyses, the blood group AB was more prevalent in VLBW infants with surgical NEC/FIP compared to non-AB blood groups (OR 1.51, 95% CI 1.07-2.13, p = 0.017; absolute risk difference 2.01%, 95% CI 0.06-3.96%). The association between blood group AB and surgical NEC/FIP was observed in a multivariable logistic regression model (OR of 1.58, 95% CI 1.10-2.26, p = 0.013) as well. In summary, our study suggests that the risk of surgical NEC and FIP is higher in patients with blood group AB and lower in those having non-AB blood groups.