Necrotizing Enterocolitis

  • Stephanie C. PapillonEmail author
  • Scott S. Short
  • Henri R. Ford
Reference work entry


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the predominant intestinal inflammatory disorder affecting the newborn infant. Risk factors for NEC include prematurity, formula feeding, and bacterial colonization of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The number of neonates at risk of developing NEC continues to rise due to recent advances in neonatology that have resulted in increased survival of extremely premature infants. Clinical features of NEC are often nonspecific and include evidence of physiologic instability, feeding intolerance, abdominal distention, and hematochezia. A cluster of key clinical and radiographic findings, known as the Bell staging system, has been used to characterize disease severity. Despite aggressive management strategies, morbidity and mortality from NEC remain high. Thus, this vexing disease will likely remain a major contributor to healthcare costs and may, one day, become the leading cause of death among premature infants. Optimal preventive strategies are needed to avert the devastating consequences of NEC.


Necrotizing enterocolitis Short bowel syndrome Ostomy, prematurity Low birth weight infants Peritoneal drainage Total parenteral nutrition 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Stephanie C. Papillon
    • 1
    Email author
  • Scott S. Short
    • 1
  • Henri R. Ford
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Pediatric SurgeryChildren’s Hospital Los AngelesLos AngelesUSA

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