One of the Portland Hospital’s leading experts is involved in on-going stem cell research that found amniotic fluid may help heal premature baby gut.
One of The Portland Hospital’s leading Consultants, Mr Paolo De Coppi, who specialises in Neonatal Surgery and General Surgery, was recently involved in some early testing which found that Amniotic fluid may heal the gut of a premature baby.
Often when babies are born too early their bodies are underdeveloped and unable to function properly, and in the incidence of the gut premature babies are often ill-equipped to deal with food which can result in severe inflammation – also known as necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC).
Approximately 1% to 5% of premature babies in neonatal intensive care will develop necrotizing enterocolitis, a gastrointestinal condition that affects the intestine. The inflammation can destroy the tissue within the gut and sometimes lead to organ failure.
Mr Paolo De Coppi was part of a team within The Great Ormond Street Hospital, who investigated the use of stem cells taken from the amniotic fluid which surrounds a developing baby in the womb and tested them on laboratory rats through a series of injections. The test results showed that stem cells inside amniotic fluid could heal some of the damage to an intestine and increase chances of survival.
The study also showed that intestines functioned better following the stem cell treatment.
Dr De Coppi said, “We’re very excited about these preliminary results. Stem cells are well-known to have anti-inflammatory effects, but this is the first time we have shown the amniotic fluid cells can repair damage in the intestines. It’s still early days but these results are certainly a positive sign of things to come and what could be achieved.”
Further tests need to be carried out before this type of treatment can be applied to premature babies but for the now the early tests results have been published in well-known medical journal Gut.
To arrange a consultation with Mr Paolo De Coppi please contact Tracey Jones on Tracy.firstname.lastname@example.org or 020 7182 7709.