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Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC): Condition Information

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What is 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 can slough off.

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 usually begins within the first 2 or 3 weeks after birth in preterm infants who otherwise appear to be getting healthier.2


  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2011). Necrotizing enterocolitis. Retrieved August 1, 2012, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002133 [top]
  2. Medscape. (2012). Necrotizing enterocolitis. Retrieved August 14, 2012, from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/977956-overview External Web Site Policy [top]

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