Necrotizing enterocolitis: current understanding of the prevention and management

Pediatr Surg Int. 2024 Jan 10;40(1):32. doi: 10.1007/s00383-023-05619-3.


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is one of the diseases in neonates, with a high morbidity and mortality rate, especially in preterm infants. This review aimed to briefly introduce the latest epidemiology, susceptibility factors, and clinical diagnosis and presentation of NEC. We also organized new prevention strategies by risk factors according to different pathogeneses and then discussed new treatment methods based on Bell's staging and complications, and the classification of mild to high severity based on clinical and imaging manifestations. Such a generalization will help clinicians and researchers to gain a deeper understanding of the disease and to conduct more targeted classification, grading prevention, and exploration. We focused on prevention and treatment of the early and suspected stages of NEC, including the discovery of novel biomarkers and drugs to control disease progression. At the same time, we discussed its clinical application, future development, and shortcomings.

Keywords: Clinical presentation; Complication; Neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis; Prevention strategy; Susceptibility factors; Treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disease Progression
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing* / diagnosis
  • Enterocolitis, Necrotizing* / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Fetal Diseases*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases*
  • Infant, Premature