Other Names for this Disease
- Enterocolitis, necrotizing
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 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.Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is a condition characterized by variable injury or damage to the intestinal tract, causing death of intestinal tissue.
Last updated: 2/4/2013
- Arthur E. Kopelman. Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC). Merck Manuals. February 2009; http://www.merckmanuals.com/home/childrens_health_issues/problems_in_newborns/necrotizing_enterocolitis_nec.html?qt=Necrotizing enterocolitis&alt=sh. Accessed 2/4/2013.
- Shelley C Springer. Necrotizing Enterocolitis. Medscape Reference. January 24, 2012; http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/977956-overview. Accessed 2/4/2013.
- Todd Eisner. Necrotizing enterocolitis. MedlinePlus. May 16, 2011; http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001148.htm. Accessed 2/4/2013.
- 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.
- MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
- The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition for patients and caregivers.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
- The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
- 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.