Which studies are performed in the evaluation of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC)?

Updated: Dec 27, 2017
  • Author: Shelley C Springer, JD, MD, MSc, MBA, FAAP; Chief Editor: Muhammad Aslam, MD  more...
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Answer

Obtain radiographic studies if any concern about NEC is present. Pursue laboratory studies, especially if the abdominal study findings are worrisome or the baby is manifesting any systemic signs. A CBC with manual differential is usually repeated at least every 6 hours if the patient's clinical status continues to deteriorate. Relevant findings may include the following:

  • WBC – Moderate to profound neutropenia (absolute neutrophil count [ANC] </li>

  • Hematocrit and hemoglobin – Blood loss from hematochezia and/or a developing consumptive coagulopathy can manifest as an acute decrease in hematocrit; an elevated hemoglobin level and hematocrit may mark hemoconcentration due to notable accumulation of extravascular fluid

  • Platelet count – Thrombocytopenia may be present

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