Background: The Gastroschisis Prognostic Score (GPS) stratifies patients as high or low risk based on the visual assessment of intestinal matting, atresia, perforation, or necrosis. Despite being a simple score, its applicability to low and middle-income countries (LMICs) remains unknown. We tested the hypothesis that GPS can predict outcomes in LMICs, by assessing the prognostic value of the GPS in a middle-income country.
Methods: This prospective study followed all newborns with gastroschisis in a Brazilian neonatal unit based in a public hospital from 2015-2019. Infants were stratified into low and high-risk cohorts based on the GPS. In addition to basic demographics, data collected included duration of parenteral nutrition (TPN), mechanical ventilation (MV), length of stay (LOS), suspicion of infection that led to the use of antibiotics, and mortality. Univariate and multivariate analyses were conducted to identify which outcomes the GPS independently predicted.
Results: Sixty-one newborns with gastroschisis were treated during the study period. The mean birth weight, gestational age, and 5' Apgar score were 2258 g, 36 weeks, and 9. Twenty-four infants (39.3%) were identified as low-risk (GPS < 2) and 37 (60.7%) as high-risk (GPS > 2). The high-risk group presented with prolonged TPN use (p<0.001), MV (p<0.001), and LOS (p:0.002). GPS did not predict antibiotic therapy or mortality.
Conclusion: In the first study in a middle-income country, the GPS predicted several important clinical outcomes. The GPS is a reliable tool for parental counseling and resource allocation in diverse settings.
Keywords: Gastroschisis; Pediatric surgery; Prognosis; Quality improvement.
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