Necrotizing Enterocolitis (NEC): Condition Information

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
  2. Medscape. (2012). Necrotizing enterocolitis. Retrieved August 14, 2012, from External Web Site Policy

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