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Pathology Research International
Volume 2010 (2010), Article ID 838917, 7 pages
Research Article

Placental Vascular Obstructive Lesions: Risk Factor for Developing Necrotizing Enterocolitis

1Institute of Pathology, University of Lausanne, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland
2Division of Neonatology, Department of Pediatrics, University Hospital of Lausanne, CH-1011 Lausanne, Switzerland

Received 13 October 2009; Revised 16 February 2010; Accepted 18 February 2010

Academic Editor: Oscar W. Cummings

Copyright © 2010 Laure Dix et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a severe neonatal disease affecting particularly preterm infants. Its exact pathogenesis still remains unknown. In this study, we have compared the prevalence of vascular obstructive lesions in placentae of premature newborns which developed NEC and of a control group. We further compared separately the findings of placentae of infants of less than 30 weeks of gestation, the age group in which NEC occurs most frequently. We found signs of fetal vascular obstructive lesions in 65% of the placentae of preterm patients developing NEC, compared to only 17% of the placentae of preterm patients in the control group. In the age groups below 30 weeks of gestation, 58.5% of placentae of later NEC patients presented such lesions compared to 24.5% in the control group. The significant difference between NEC and control group suggests a strong association between fetal vascular obstructive lesions and NEC. Therefore, we propose that fetal vascular obstructive lesions might be considered as a risk factor for the development of NEC in premature infants.