Octreotide is a somatostatin analogue used for treating congenital chylothorax and congenital hyperinsulinism in infants. By increasing splanchnic arteriolar resistance and decreasing gastrointestinal blood flow, octreotide indirectly reduces lymphatic flow in chylous effusions.
Splanchnic ischaemia following octreotide predisposes infants to necrotising enterocolitis (NEC). Although NEC occurrence in infants treated with octreotide for hyperinsulinaemic hypoglycaemia has been reported widely, its incidence in infants with chylothroax is low. We describe a case of congenital chylothorax in a preterm infant who had poor response to thoracentesis. Although octreotide initiation lead to resolution of chylothorax, he developed NEC. Cessation of octreotide and medical management resulted in rapid resolution of NEC. Since octreotide is generally used as the first-line treatment for chylous effusion, the risk of NEC should be considered, especially when the dosage is increased. Infants on octreotide should be closely observed for early signs and symptoms of NEC to avert surgical emergency.
- congenital disorders
- gastrointestinal system
- unwanted effects / adverse reactions
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Contributors AA and GVL: manuscript preparation and literature review. SC and CMC: manuscript preparation, literature review and finalisation of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent for publication Parental/guardian consent obtained.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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