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July 1973

Neonatal Necrotizing Enterocolitis: Histologic Evidence of Healing

Author Affiliations

Richmond, Va
From the Department of Pathology, Medical College of Virginia, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Va.

Am J Dis Child. 1973;126(1):113-116. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1973.02110190101022

Clinical and pathologic features of three cases of neonatal necrotizing enterocolitis (NNE) are described. All patients were twins and showed various clinical features predisposing to hypoxia. It is suggested that hypoxia may play a role in the pathogenesis of this disease. Pathologic study of the intestine showed healing of the lesions of NNE by epithelialization, fibroblastic proliferation, and formation of granulation tissue.

In view of the capacity of the intestinal mucosal and submucosal lesions of NNE to heal, a less aggressive approach towards surgical resection of intestine than is generally advocated would seem warranted. Completion of the process of healing could lead to submucosal scarring and stricture formation.