Pathology of the Gastrointestinal Tract

2017 Edition
| Editors: Fátima Carneiro, Paula Chaves, Arzu Ensari

Necrotizing Enterocolitis

  • Erdener ÖzerEmail author
Reference work entry


NEC; Neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a common distinctive disease of premature infants characterized by coagulative necrosis and inflammation of the small and large intestine. It is the most common gastrointestinal medical and surgical emergency in the neonatal period.

The pathogenesis of NEC is still incompletely understood and is likely attributable to a complex mechanism. Hypoxia-ischemia is less postulated nowadays and there is an increasing evidence of relation between altered mucosal integrity and prematurity itself. Many factors potentially predispose the premature intestine to injury. These include an inadequate intestinal barrier, incomplete microvasculature development or an immature regulation of the intestinal vascular perfusion, an inflammatory response triggered by abnormal bacterial colonization and an immature immune response leading to inefficient killing of microbes that then translocate through the intestinal...

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References and Further Reading

  1. Berman, L., & Moss, R. L. (2011). Necrotizing enterocolitis: An update. Seminars in Fetal and Neonatal Medicine, 16, 145–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Hunter, C. J., Chokshi, N., & Ford, H. R. (2008). Evidence vs experience in the surgical management of necrotizing enterocolitis and focal intestinal perforation. Journal of Perinatology, 28(Suppl 1), S14–S17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Morgan, J. A., Young, L., & McGuire, W. (2011). Pathogenesis and prevention of necrotizing enterocolitis. Current Opinion in Infectious Diseases, 24, 183–189.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Petrosyan, M., Guner, Y. S., Williams, M., Grishin, A., & Ford, H. R. (2009). Current concepts regarding the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis. Pediatric Surgery International, 25, 309–318.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Young, C. M., Kingma, S. D., & Neu, J. (2011). Ischemia-reperfusion and neonatal intestinal injury. Journal of Pediatrics, 158(2 Suppl), e25–e28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PathologyDokuz Eylül University School of MedicineIzmirTurkey