Plasma miR-1290 Is a Novel and Specific Biomarker for Early Diagnosis of Necrotizing Enterocolitis-Biomarker Discovery with Prospective Cohort Evaluation
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To discover specific circulating microRNA (miRNA) biomarkers for the early differentiation of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) from neonatal sepsis and inflammatory conditions.

Study design

The study comprised 3 distinct phases: differential microarray analysis to compare plasma miRNA expression profiles of NEC vs sepsis and non-NEC/nonsepsis cases, a case-control study to quantify dysregulated miRNAs as potential specific biomarkers of NEC, and a prospective cohort study to assess the diagnostic usefulness of the best miRNA biomarker(s).


A distinct miRNA expression profile was observed in the NEC compared with the sepsis and non-NEC/nonsepsis groups. miR-1290, miR-1246, and miR-375 were discovered to be specific biomarkers of NEC in the case-control study. In the cohort study (n = 301), plasma miR-1290 (day 0; >220 copies/µL) provided the greatest diagnostic usefulness for identifying both mild medical and severe surgical NEC cases. Of 20 infants with miR-1290 >650 copies/µL, 15 were diagnosed with NEC. Incorporating C-reactive protein (day 1; >15.8 mg/L) for cases with intermediate levels (220-650 copies/µL) in a 2-stage algorithm further optimized the diagnostic profile with a sensitivity of 0.83, a specificity of 0.96, a positive predictive value of 0.75, and a negative predictive value of 0.98. Importantly, 7 of 36 infants with NEC (19.4%) could be diagnosed 7.8-32.2 hours earlier (median, 13.3 hours) using miR-1290.


Plasma miR-1290 is a novel and specific biomarker that can effectively differentiate NEC cases from neonatal sepsis. miR-1290 facilitates neonatologists to confidently and timely reach a decision for early transfer of sick infants with NEC from community-based hospitals to tertiary surgical centers.
Acceptance Date11/09/2018
All Author(s) ListNg PC, Chan KYY, Yuen TP, Sit T, Lam HS, Leung KT, Wong RPO, Chan LCN, Pang YLI, Cheung HM, Chu WCW, Li K
Journal nameJournal of Pediatrics
Volume Number205
Pages83 - 90.e10
LanguagesEnglish-United States
KeywordsNEC, Sepsis, biomarkers, miR-1290

Last updated on 2021-13-10 at 23:42