Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Symptoms

Perinatal Necrotizing Enterocolitis Overview

Another name for Perinatal Necrotizing Enterocolitis is Necrotizing Enterocolitis.

What is necrotizing enterocolitis?
An infant with necrotizing enterocolitis has a condition where the intestinal wall lining dies and the tissue falls off. This condition most often affects newborns that are sick or premature. Necrotizing enterocolitis develops in about one out of ten infants who are born with a weight below 1,500 grams. Although most common in premature infants, it can occasionally be seen in term and near-term infants. The underlying cause for this condition remains unknown.

What are the symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis?
The symptoms of necrotizing enterocolitis include the slow or sudden onset of blood in the stool, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal distension and a fluctuating temperature.

How does the doctor treat necrotizing enterocolitis?
The treatment of necrotizing enterocolitis includes stopping feedings to insert a small tube in the stomach of the infant to relieve gas from the bowel. Antibiotic medications are then started to fight any infection that may arise. Surgery may be needed if there is a hole in the intestines.

Continue to Perinatal Necrotizing Enterocolitis Symptoms

Last Updated: Jul 21, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Perinatal Necrotizing Enterocolitis References
  1. Alfaleh K, Anabrees J, Bassler D. Probiotics reduce the risk of necrotizing enterocolitis in preterm infants: a meta-analysis. Neonatology. 2010;97(2):93-9. Epub 2009 Aug 25. [19707025]
  2. Evennett N, Alexander N, Petrov M, Pierro A, Eaton S. A systematic review of serologic tests in the diagnosis of necrotizing enterocolitis. J Pediatr Surg. 2009 Nov;44(11):2192-201. [19944232]
  3. Morowitz MJ, Poroyko V, Caplan M, Alverdy J, Liu DC. Redefining the role of intestinal microbes in the pathogenesis of necrotizing enterocolitis. Pediatrics. 2010 Apr;125(4):777-85. Epub 2010 Mar 22. [20308210]
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