What is the role of intestinal mucosal immaturity in the etiology 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

In the preterm infant, mucosal cellular immaturity and the absence of mature antioxidative mechanisms may render the mucosal barrier more susceptible to injury. Intestinal regulatory T-cell aggregates are a first-line defense against luminal pathogens and may be induced by collections of small lymphoid aggregates, which are absent or deficient in the premature infant.


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