SNAPPE-II and MDAS scores as predictors for surgical intervention in very low birth weight neonates with necrotizing enterocolitis

Melanie Fijas, Melissa Vega, Xianhong Xie, Mimi Kim, Tomas Havranek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Background: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common life-threatening gastrointestinal emergency in preterm and term neonates, with the majority of cases affecting neonates classified as very low birth weight (VLBW, bw <1500 g). Scores for neonatal acute physiology-perinatal extension-II (SNAPPE-II) and metabolic derangement acuity score (MDAS) have been developed and utilized to assess neonatal morbidity and mortality including the subset of VLBW neonates. Serial SNAPPE-II and MDAS scores have been reported in neonates with necrotizing enterocolitis to assist in surgical management, yielding mixed results. Objective: To determine the relationship between clinical and/or laboratory deterioration using SNAPPE-II and MDAS scores measured at the time of NEC diagnosis and surgical management of NEC. Methods: We retrospectively evaluated preterm neonates ≥23 weeks gestational age who developed pneumatosis intestinalis on radiographic imaging coupled with clinical signs of NEC. SNAPPE-II and MDAS scores were calculated within twelve hours of birth and within twelve hours of initial finding of pneumatosis intestinalis. Baseline characteristics and clinical variables between those who did and did not require surgical intervention were compared. Logistic regression and receiver - operator characteristics (ROC) curve analyses were also performed, and areas under the curve (AUC) computed, to assess the performance of SNAPPE-II and MDAS scoring systems to differentiate neonates with NEC in the two groups. Results: Sixty-four neonates were evaluated in our study of which 20 required surgical management of NEC. While the baseline SNAPPE-II and MDAS scores did not differ between the surgical management and medical management only groups, when rescored within 12 h of NEC diagnosis, the surgical management group had significantly higher SNAPPE -II (38 (18.5–69) vs. 19 (10–34.5), p =.04) and MDAS (2.5 (1–3) vs. 1 (0–2), p =.0004) scores. The AUCs for MDAS 0.77 (95% CI 0.65-0.89 and 0.71 (95% CI 0.57–0.85) for SNAPPE-II, indicating an acceptable level of diagnostic ability of both scoring systems to differentiate between those who did and did not need surgical management. Conclusion: SNAPPE II and MDAS scores performed within 12 h of NEC diagnosis may be useful in predicting which preterm VLBW neonates will require surgical intervention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2148096
JournalJournal of Maternal-Fetal and Neonatal Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • SNAPPE-II and MDAS scores
  • necrotizing enterocolitis
  • neonate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


Dive into the research topics of 'SNAPPE-II and MDAS scores as predictors for surgical intervention in very low birth weight neonates with necrotizing enterocolitis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this