Welcome to the website of the Special Interest Group in Necrotizing Enterocolitis

Special Interest Group in Necrotizing Enterocolitis



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Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) is an acute gastrointestinal inflammatory disease that predominantly affects preterm babies. As birth rates and the survival of babies born extremely prematurely improve, NEC is growing in global relevance. It is a significant and complex clinical problem. NEC has high death rates and is associated with major long-term gastrointestinal and neurodevelopmental disabilities.

Greater international collaboration is needed to power research and to reduce the enormous burden this disease has placed upon families and healthcare systems. The aim of SIGNEC is to facilitate knowledge sharing, networking and collaboration to optimise research and improvements in practice around the world.


What is the Special Interest Group in Necrotizing Enterocolitis?

Information for professionals

Summaries and programmes from past events and select presentations.

Information for families

NEC explained in  guides for families.


Our best opportunity to reduce judgement calls

by Nigel Hall MRCPCH FRCS PhD

My dream is to never have to operate on a baby with NEC again.

Prof. Gail Besner

Chief, Dept.of Pediatric Surgery, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Columbus, USA


30.7.18 – WHEAT – Withholding feeds at transfusion to prevent NEC – is an international randomised registry trial which aims to see if withholding milk feeds around blood transfusion can reduce NEC. It is a new type of neonatal study that uses routine data already recorded by doctors and nurses. Researchers also want to know the views of healthcare staff, parents and other groups with an interest in neonatal care. Please take part in their survey.

Included in the survey is this video in which Dr Chris Gale and Professor Neena Modi describe the importance of neonatal point of care trials and how they can simplify neonatal research.

Please note:

This website is intended to help health professionals and the public understand necrotizing enterocolitis and progress made in research into the disease. It is not a substitute for discussion with those responsible for the care of a baby. Every individual baby and clinical situation is unique. The ultimate judgement regarding a particular clinical procedure or treatment must be made by the clinician in the light of the clinical data presented by the patient and the diagnostic or treatment options available.

All presentations available to download from this website have been given at previous meetings of the Special Interest Group in Necrotizing Enterocolitis (SIGNEC). They appear by kind permission of the authors and Dr Minesh Khashu and may not be reproduced without their consent.  No other materials, or the SIGNEC logo, may be used or reproduced without the permission of Dr Minesh Khashu. All conference photographs by David Betteridge Photography.

While all reasonable efforts have been made to check the contents of external sites, links are not an endorsement of those sites.