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Other Names for this Disease
- Enterocolitis, necrotizing
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Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a condition characterized by variable injury or damage to the intestinal tract, causing death of intestinal tissue. The condition most often occurs in premature newborns, but it may also occur in term or near-term babies. Signs and symptoms may include abdominal distension, bloody stools, vomiting bile-stained fluid, and pneumatosis intestinalis (gas in the bowel wall) identified on abdominal x-ray. Affected infants occasionally have temperature instability, lethargy, or other findings of sepsis. The exact cause of NEC is unknown. Treatment involves stopping feedings, passing a small tube into the stomach to relieve gas, and giving intravenous fluids and antibiotics. Surgery may be needed if there is perforated or necrotic (dead) bowel tissue. About 60-80% of affected newborns survive the condition.
- Arthur E. Kopelman. Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). Merck Manuals. http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/childrens_health_issues/problems_in_newborns/necrotizing_enterocolitis_nec.html?qt=Necrotizing enterocolitis&alt=sh. Accessed February 4, 2013.
- Shelley C Springer. Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Medscape Reference. http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/977956-overview. Accessed February 4, 2013.
- Todd Eisner. Necrotizing enterocolitis. MedlinePlus. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001148.htm. Accessed February 4, 2013.
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- The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) provides information related to the health of children, adults, and families. Click on the link to view information on this topic.
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- The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.
- PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Necrotizing enterocolitis. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.