Recent advances in understanding necrotizing enterocolitis

F1000Res. 2019 Jan 25;8:F1000 Faculty Rev-107. doi: 10.12688/f1000research.17228.1. eCollection 2019.


Necrotizing enterocolitis is a devastating intestinal disease affecting preterm infants. In spite of ongoing research and advancement in neonatal care, mortality remains high, especially in infants with advanced disease. The mechanism of disease development, the progression of intestinal injury, and management remain areas of ongoing research and controversy. In this review, we examine our current understanding of the disease, its epidemiology, the risk factors associated with the development of the disease, and its pathophysiology. We also describe current management and new emerging research highlighting potential future directions.

Keywords: necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC); neonates; pathophysiology; premature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / epidemiology*
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / physiopathology*
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Risk Factors