Aim. To set up abdominal ultrasound as the monitoring method for NEC

Methods. In a five year study period between 2009 and 2013, from a total of 193 treated newborns, 20 were diagnosed with NEC. According to Bell’s criteria, NEC can be classified as medical (stage I , II), and surgical (stage III). Of the examined newborns, 13 had medical NEC (group I), 7 surgical (group II). We compared clinical and demographic characteristics, treatments and outcomes of both groups. Along with clinical indicators, abdominal ultrasound was implemented as the monitoring method. In the follow-up we searched for characteristics of intestine pneumatosis and the presence of air in the portal space, and the results set the direction of the medical treatment.

Results. None of the patients from the group of medical NEC (group I) had progression to the surgical stage (group II).

Conclusion. We found abdominal ultrasound to be a useful method for the recognition of early stages of medical NEC, and as a guide to therapy aimed at preventing the development of surgical NEC.

Karmen Kondža,
Children's Hospital Zagreb, Klaićeva 16, 10 000 Zagreb

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