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Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC): Overview

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NEC is the most common, serious gastrointestinal disease affecting newborn infants. Health care providers consider this disease as a medical and surgical emergency. The condition is most commonly seen in premature infants. The NICHD supports and conducts research to understand the causes of NEC, to seek better treatments for this condition, and to find ways to prevent it.

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Common Names

  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • NEC (often pronounced as “neck”)

Medical or Scientific Names

  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • NEC
Last Updated Date: 10/22/2013
Last Reviewed Date: 07/23/2013
Vision National Institutes of Health Home BOND National Institues of Health Home Home Storz Lab: Section on Environmental Gene Regulation Home Machner Lab: Unit on Microbial Pathogenesis Home Division of Intramural Population Health Research Home Bonifacino Lab: Section on Intracellular Protein Trafficking Home Lilly Lab: Section on Gamete Development Home Lippincott-Schwartz Lab: Section on Organelle Biology