doctor head
  pharmacy and drugs  
search Search
       About us       News      A-Z Drugs      Stores      Top Drugs      Contact  
  doctor doctor hand
  doctor legs  



Subscribe to our newsletter:


Enterocolitis is an inflammation of the intestines, small and large. Most of the time enteritis is diagnosed as two separate categories – enteritis for the small intestine and colitis for the large intestine, primarily the colon.

Necrotizing enterocolitis is a disease that is primarily diagnosed in premature infants. In this case, the bowels begin to necrotize or die, causing serious complications. Of all gastrointestinal disorders in preemies this is the most common and most serious. Up to five percent of all neonatal intensive care patients suffer from necrotizing enterocolitis.


Enterocolitis can also occur with salmonella poisoning.


Symptoms for necrotizing enterocolitis are irritability, feeding problems and intolerance, swollen belly (known as abdominal distension) and bloody bowel movements. Discoloration (redness) of the abdomen, fever, bile in the vomit and systemic hypotension indicate an intestinal perforation or tear which can lead to peritonitis. Peritonitis is an infection of the membrane that lines the abdominal cavity. It is a serious condition that requires immediate medical intervention. Necrotizing enterocolits usually begins during the first two weeks of life following the first few feedings.


Enterocolitis is diagnosed via abdominal x-ray, elevated white blood cell count, low platelet count, testing the stool for blood and a lactic acidosis test. Lactic acidosis test will check the acid level in body fluids – indicating whether or not a leakage or perforation has occurred in the intestines.


To treat necrotizing enterocolitis, oral feeding is stopped, bowel gas is removed via a small tube inserted into the stomach. Intravenous feedings are given to replace formula and breast milk feedings. Antibiotic, oral or intravenously, therapy is begun. Necrotizing enterocolitis needs to be watched carefully, using abdominal x-rays, blood gas levels and blood tests. Most infants respond well to therapy without surgery with in three days.

If a perforation or tear has occurred surgery is needed immediately to repair the damage and prevent further complications. Bowel tissue that has died is removed. Sometimes a colostomy or an ileostomy is required. A colostomy involves rerouting the colon to an opening created by the surgeon. A bag collects the waste produced by the intestines. An ileostomy involves creating an opening that connects the small intestine to the skins surface. A bag is used to collect waste. After the intestines have healed the colon and small intestine can be reconnected and bowel functioning will be given an opportunity to return to normal. It can take weeks or months for the inflammation and injury to the bowels to heal.

Side effects from surgery may develop later in life – such as scarring or constriction of the intestine. This can cause an obstruction or blockage later in life. Short bowel syndrome can result in stunted growth and neurological damage due to malabsorption of nutrients from the damaged intestines These conditions are not seen as much in patients who did not require surgery to treat necrotizing enterocolitis.

Survival rate is over eighty percent in infants who require surgery. Survival rate depends on other conditions of the premature infant that occur with the necrotizing enterocolitis.


Other than salmonella infection in adults, necrotizing enterocolitis has no known cause. There has been a suggestion that this condition is contagious, given ‘out breaks’ in neo-natal intensive care units, but nothing has been definitively proven. Necrotizing enterocolits only appears after an infant begins feeding with breast milk or formula.

Common belief about the cause of necrotizing enterocolitis is that a premature infants intestinal tissue is weakened by low oxygen or blood flow. Starting feeding challenges or stresses the intestine, allowing bacteria to invade the protective coating of the wall of the intestines. This bacteria is normally found in the intestines, but the intestinal walls usually are protected from it.

1 - 2 of 2 <<previous | next>>      

Nexium capsules


Nexium, called Esomeprazole, is used to treat duodenal ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which is a condition in which the acid in the stomach washes back up into the esophagus. It also reduces the chance of gastric ulcers in patients who more...

Doxycycline capsules


Doxycycline (Atridox) is used to help treat periodontal disease (a disease of your gums), which is caused by bacteria growing beneath the gum line. Doxycycline works by preventing the growth of the bacteria Be sure to tell your doctor of any allergies more...

1 - 2 of 2 <<previous | next>>       

© 2006-2012 All rights reserved.