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Semin Pediatr Surg. 2005 Aug;14(3):175-80.

Role of epidermal growth factor in the pathogenesis of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis.

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Division of Pediatric and Thoracic Surgery, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Department of Surgery, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine, Cincinnati, Ohio 45229-3039, USA.


Neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is an increasingly frequent condition encountered in premature infants for which the etiology is not well understood. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is abundant in many fluids bathing the fetal and neonatal gastrointestinal tract, including amniotic fluid, saliva, and breast milk. EGF is acknowledged to be important for normal intestinal development as well as repair following injury to the gastrointestinal mucosa. There appears to be mounting evidence to support a possible link between deficient EGF production and the development of NEC. The relevant evidence for the role of EGF in intestinal development and mucosal repair, as well as its potential involvement in the genesis of NEC will be reviewed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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