Necrotizing enterocolitis: the search for a unifying pathogenic theory leading to prevention

Pediatr Clin North Am. 1996 Apr;43(2):409-32. doi: 10.1016/s0031-3955(05)70413-2.


During the past two decades, necrotizing enterocolitis has emerged as a major cause of mortality and morbidity in premature infants. The specific cause of the disease remains enigmatic, but several putative risk factors provide clues to a pathophysiology that seems to be multifactorial. With the use of newly developed scientific tools, an understanding of the basic pathophysiologic cascade that causes necrotizing enterocolitis is emerging, providing hope for improved treatment and prevention.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Enteral Nutrition
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / diagnosis
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / microbiology*
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / physiopathology
  • Enterocolitis, Pseudomembranous / prevention & control*
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / diagnosis
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / microbiology*
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / physiopathology
  • Infant, Premature, Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Primary Prevention / methods
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents