Which radiographic findings suggest 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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Other radiographic findings include the following:

  • Pneumatosis intestinalis – Pathognomic of NEC

  • Abdominal free air – Ominous; patients usually require emergency surgical intervention

  • Portal gas – A poor prognostic sign

  • Distended loops of small bowel – Common but nonspecific

  • Intraperitoneal free fluid

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