How is necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) diagnosed?

NEC is diagnosed by examining the baby for the symptoms listed above (usually swelling (distention) and tenderness. An X-ray of the abdomen may show a bubbly appearance in the intestine and signs of air or gas in the large veins of the liver. Air may also be outside the intestines in the abdomen. A needle may be inserted into the abdominal cavity to check for the presence of intestinal fluid (a sample is usually taken), which is often a sign of a hole in the intestines.

Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services. Policy