July 1973

Neonatal Enterocolitis

Author Affiliations

Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology University of California School of Medicine PO Box 109 La Jolla, CA 92037

Am J Dis Child. 1973;126(1):15. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.02110190011002

Although neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NNE) has been discussed in the European literature since the turn of the century, in this country, it has become known only since the early 1960s.1 The disease is reported from all parts of the world now, and all authors agree that its incidence is increasing, there being well over 300 cases now on record. The disease is relatively characteristic, affecting prematures, low birth weight infants, and those with respiratory disease of the newborn much more commonly, and it carries a poor prognosis. Its etiology and precise pathogenesis are in dispute as is the proper management of the disease. Both aggressive surgical resection and strict medical management have been advocated and the results of either mode of therapy seem almost equally efficacious.2 Really large series of cases that would allow proper comparison of treatment methods are not available, and a detailed pathologic study of

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