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Pathophysiology. 2014 Feb;21(1):3-12. doi: 10.1016/j.pathophys.2013.11.009. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

Neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis: Clinical challenges, pathophysiology and management.

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Department of Neonatal-Perinatal Medicine, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL, United States.
Department of Pathology, LSU-Health, Shreveport, LA, United States.
Department of Pediatrics, LSU-Health, Shreveport, LA, United States.
Department of Pediatrics, LSU-Health, Shreveport, LA, United States. Electronic address:


NEC remains a major concern for neonatologists, surgeons, and gastroenterologists due to its high morbidity and mortality. These infants often have poor developmental outcome, and contribute to significant economic burden resulting in marked stress in these families. By developing and adhering to strict feeding protocols, encouraging human milk feeding preferably from the infant's mother, use of probiotics, judicious antibiotic use, instituting blood transfusion protocols, the occurrence of NEC may possibly be reduced. However, because of its multifactorial etiology, it cannot be completely eradicated in the NICUs, particularly in the extremely premature infants. Ongoing surveillance of NEC and quality improvement projects may be beneficial.


Necrotizing enterocolitis; Preterm infant; Prevention

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