What is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)?
Necrotizing enterocolitis (pronounced nek-ruh-TAHYZ-ing en-tuh-roh-koh-LAHY-tis), or NEC, is a common disease of the intestinal tract in which the tissue lining the intestine becomes inflamed, dies, and sloughs off. It is then passed in small bits along with the stool, which is typically bloody. The condition typically affects infants who are born preterm or who are already sick, and it usually occurs before the newborn leaves the hospital.1 NEC normally begins within the first 2 or 3 weeks after birth in preterm infants after they have begun feedings.2
- U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2011). Necrotizing enterocolitis. Retrieved August 1, 2012, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002133 [top]
- Medscape. (2012). Necrotizing enterocolitis. Retrieved August 14, 2012, from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/977956-overview [top]