Necrotizing enterocolitis: Pathophysiology from a historical context

David Hackam, Michael Caplan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) continues to afflict approximately 7% of preterm infants born weighing less than 1500 g, though recent investigations have provided novel insights into the pathogenesis of this complex disease. The disease has been a major cause of morbidity and mortality in neonatal intensive care units worldwide for many years, and our current understanding reflects exceptional observations made decades ago. In this review, we will describe NEC from a historical context and summarize seminal findings that underscore the importance of enteral feeding, the gut microbiota, and intestinal inflammation in this complex pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
JournalSeminars in pediatric surgery
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2018


  • Breast milk
  • Endotoxin
  • Necrotizing enterocolitis
  • Neonatal sepsis
  • Surgery
  • Toll like receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Surgery


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