Necrotizing enterocolitis in the unfed infant

Michael B. Marchildon, B. E. Buck, George Abdenour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


From 1974 to 1981, 139 infants with neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) were treated at our institution. Fourteen of these infants had not been fed prior to development of NEC. The unfed infants who developed intestinal necrosis had lower birth weights, were less mature, and had lower Apgar scores. The incidence of respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and perinatal asphyxia were significantly higher in the entire unfed group. Unfed infants generally had longstanding indwelling umbilical artery catheters. Pneumatosis intestinalis was not often seen in unfed infants, even in those who developed intestinal necrosis and perforation. Anatomic location of the disease as determined at surgery was sometimes atypical. The pathologic lesion present in the intestine of the unfed infant suggested a primarily, if not purely, ischemic etiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-624
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1982
Externally publishedYes


  • Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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