Evaluation of hexosaminidase activity as a potential biochemical marker in serum for necrotizing enterocolitis

Karen E. Shattuck, C. Joan Richardson, David K. Rassin, Thorn E. Lobe

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5 Scopus citations


The presence of increased serum activity of the lysosomal hydrolase hexosaminidase has been suggested to be potentially useful in the diagnosis of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). In the present study, serum activity of hexosaminidase was measured in 19 neonates with NEC and compared to developmental patterns of enzyme activity determined in 61 neonates without NEC. Infants with NEC were studied at intervals starting at the onset of disease and continuing until 6 weeks after diagnosis. In normal infants, serum activity of hexosaminidase increases with increasing gestational and postnatal ages. However, infants with NEC had relatively lower serum hexosaminidase activity than these control infants of similar gestational and postnatal ages. Necrotizing enterocolitis is not associated with increased serum activity of hexosaminidase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-237
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1987



  • Hexosaminidase
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Serum activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Gastroenterology

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