Neurogastroenterology & Motility | 2019

Necrotizing enterocolitis



Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is an acute inflammatory disease of the intestine which primarily affects preterm infants and is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the neonatal intensive care unit. From a clinical standpoint, and during the early course of the disease, NEC can be difficult to distinguish from other diseases and conditions common to the preterm infant, and this warrants the need for specific disease biomarkers. The pathogenesis of NEC is only partly understood but likely involves an altered intestinal barrier immune response to feeding and the developing microbiome. Recent evidence points toward a role of the enteric nervous system in NEC pathogenesis. In this issue, Meister and colleagues use a rodent model of NEC to demonstrate that NEC is associated with diminished vagal tone, as determined by decreased high‐frequency heart rate variability (HF‐HRV), and altered myenteric nitrergic inhibitory neurotransmission. These results augment their previous findings that describe decreased HF‐HRV in human preterm infants with NEC. This mini‐review provides a brief summary of clinical and pathophysiologic aspects of NEC with focus on certain aspects of neurogastroenterology.

Volume 31
Pages None
DOI 10.1111/nmo.13569
Language English
Journal Neurogastroenterology & Motility

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