Surgical management of Necrotizing Enterocolitis in an Incredibly Low Birth Weight infant and review of the Literature

A. Zangari, C. Noviello, Stefano Nobile, G. Cobellis, C. Gulia, R. Piergentili, S. Gigli, V. Carnielli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Survival of preterm infants have dramatically improved over the last decades. Nonetheless, infants born preterm remain vulnerable to many complications, including necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). The severity of the disease and the mortality rate are directly correlated with decreasing gestational age and birth weight. Despite surgical treatment mortality rate remains very high in extremely premature infants, especially in newborns at the lowest limit of viability. Survival of infants of birth weight (BW) below 750 g has been increasingly reported in recent years, however the overall mortality in extremely low "BW" infants (ELBW) requiring surgery for NEC has not decreased over the past years. We describe our experience with a male preterm infant who survived after an ileostomy procedure for Bell stage II NEC, with improving neuromotor skills at 2 years follow up. Although standard indication to surgery is Bell stage III, in our case the choice of minimal laparotomy, exploration of the bowel and ileostomy at Bell stage II was safe and effective. Our experience suggest that surgery has not a negative impact on survival and ileostomy could prevent further damage of the bowel in NEC. We hypothesize that indication to surgery at an earlier stage may prevent further progression of the disease without a significantly negative impact on survival. Further studies are needed to confirm the appropriateness of this approach in ELBW infants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e297-e299
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Bell stage
  • Ileostomy
  • Necrotizing Enterocolitis
  • Preterm infants


Dive into the research topics of 'Surgical management of Necrotizing Enterocolitis in an Incredibly Low Birth Weight infant and review of the Literature'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this