DOI link for Necrotizing Enterocolitis
Necrotizing Enterocolitis book
Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is the most common gastrointestinal emergency of the premature neonate. NEC is an acute inflammatory state of the intestine which affects all layers of the intestinal wall. The estimated incidence of NEC ranges from 0.5 to 5 per 1000 live births. Risk factors for NEC identified from epidemiologic studies include hypoxia in the early postnatal period, congenital heart disease, and respiratory distress. Maternal risk factors felt to increase the incidence of NEC development in the preterm neonate include placental insufficiency and maternal cocaine use, both of which may contribute to the development of NEC by predisposing the neonatal gut to relative oxygen deprivation. The diagnosis of NEC is often established by the findings on plain abdominal radiography. The majority of patients with NEC are treated medically with bowel rest, naso- or orogastric tube decompression, broad-spectrum intravenous antibiotics, fluid resuscitation, and careful monitoring for further deterioration.