ABSTRACT: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is an inflammatory intestinal disease of premature newborns, thought to result in part from overactivity of the innate immune system. NEC has been well-studied from the perspective of prevention; however, after the disease onset, there are limited treatment options to control its progression. This review discusses four potential therapies that target the overactive immune response in NEC: pentoxifylline, platelet activating factor modulators, glucocorticoids, and vasoactive substances. In addition, given the similar pathogenesis of NEC and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), we propose that IBD therapies could provide promising leads for novel strategies with which to treat NEC.
Current Gastroenterology Reports 05/2012; 14(5):373-9.