Intestinal candidiasis: An uncommon cause of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in neonates

Carlos E. Parra-Herran, Liset Pelaez, Juan E. Sola, Arnel K. Urbiztondo, Maria M. Rodriguez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Candida albicans produces intestinal perforation and necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) in preterm newborns. We reviewed pathology files in neonates with a diagnosis of NEC (10-year period), gathered history, and reviewed histological materials. Of 249 autopsies, two (0.8%) had systemic candidiasis. From 66 surgical cases with a diagnosis of NEC, five cases (7.5%) had intestinal candidiasis. Candida albicans grew in pre- and post-mortem blood, lung, or peritoneal fluid in all cases. Histologically, the small bowel revealed fungi, sometimes intravascular. Systemic candidiasis with intestinal involvement is an important complication of prematurity and a prevalent cause of sepsis. The presence of intraluminal fungi with associated vascular occlusion may lead to bowel ischemia, necrosis, and perforation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)172-180
Number of pages9
JournalFetal and Pediatric Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2010


  • Candida
  • Fungal thrombus
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Newborn
  • Preterm
  • Very low birth weight

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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