Factors determining outcome in gastroschisis: clinical experience over 18 years

L. Cara Jager, Hugo A. Heij

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Although the survival in gastroschisis has improved to more than 85%, serious morbidity with consequent long hospital stay is still very common. Alternative strategies such as planned early delivery and amniotic fluid exchange are being explored. In order to evaluate these approaches, adequate risk stratification of patients with gastroschisis is required. The aim of this study was to identify the risk factors associated with increased morbidity and mortality. A retrospective analysis of all patients with gastroschisis treated at our institution between 1988 and 2005 was conducted. Patients' data were collected from the files and compared for statistical significance with three outcome measures: (1) complicated post-operative course; (2) time to full enteral feeding (TFE); (3) length of hospital stay (LOS). SPSS was used for statistical analysis. Fifty-nine newborns with gastroschisis were admitted during the study period. Antenatal diagnosis was made in 40 cases (68%). Associated malformations (other than intestinal anomalies) were present in eight patients. One patient with trisomy 13 was excluded from the analysis. Ten patients (17%) had compromised bowel (atresia, severe ischaemia or a combination). Primary repair was successful in 47 (81%) and in 11 patients a silo was applied. Overall survival was 54/58 children (93%), four patients died. Complications associated with closure occurred in eight patients. Post-operative course was uncomplicated in 45 patients and complicated in 13. The RR for patients with compromised bowel to have a complicated post-operative course is 9 (95% CI 2-39) and the RR to die is 20 (95% CI 2-222) for these patients. Risk stratification of patients with gastroschisis appears possible based on the presence of compromised bowel before closure
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)731-736
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2007

Cite this