Pathophysiology and current management of necrotizing enterocolitis

Author(s): Horton KK


Necrotizing enterocolitis continues to be a common and life-threatening gastrointestinal emergency in the low birth weight infant. Prematurity, ischemia, enteral feeding, and infectious disease have been identified as common risk factors, however the exact cause of NEC other than prematurity is yet to be identified. Good assessment skills by the nurse are imperative, because clinical signs of NEC can be both subtle and catastrophic. Frequent radiographs are essential for the diagnosis of NEC and ongoing assessment of neonates diagnosed with NEC. Radiographs including an abdominal flat plate examination and a left lateral decubitus film to evaluate for free air should be obtained every 6-8 hours in the neonates with Stages II and III NEC.

Similar Articles

Neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis: Therapeutic decisions based upon clinical staging

Author(s): Bell MJ, Ternberg JL, Feigin RD, Keating JP, Marshall R, et al.

The early use of minimal enteral nutrition in extremely low birth weight newborns

Author(s): Mosqueda E, Sapiegiene L, Glynn L, Wilson-Costello D, Weiss M

Necrotizing enterocolitis in 20,822 infants: analysis of medical and surgical treatments

Author(s): Abdullah F, Zhang Y, Camp M, Mukherjee D, Gabre-Kidan A, et al.

Survival and morbidity of infants with necrotizing enterocolitis treated with surgery

Author(s): García H, Franco-Gutiérrez M, Gutiérrez-Hernández JI

Short-term outcomes for preterm infants with surgical necrotizing enterocolitis

Author(s): Murthy K, Yanowitz TD, DiGeronimo R, Dykes FD, Zaniletti I, et al.

Mortality and intestinal failure in surgical necrotizing enterocolitis

Author(s): Kelleher J, Mallick H, Soltau TD, Harmon CM, Dimmitt RA