. 2022 Aug 4;15(8):e250274.

doi: 10.1136/bcr-2022-250274.


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Elis Yuexian Lee et al.

BMJ Case Rep.



Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a severe gastrointestinal disease mostly in premature infants due to intestinal necrosis. The aetiology of NEC is multifactorial and includes gut immaturity, intestinal dysbiosis and exaggerated intestinal mucosal reactivity to microbial ligands. Radiographic evidence of pneumatosis intestinalis has been a critical feature for diagnosing NEC Bell stage ≥IIA and recommended treatment includes prolonged antibiotics (7-14 days) while off enteral feeds. Pneumatosis coli (Pcoli), a mild or benign form of NEC, is characterised by pneumatosis limited to the colon in an infant having haematochezia, negative septic screening and no systemic signs. We report two healthy preterm infants with haematochezia and colonic pneumatosis while on breast milk feeds. The sepsis screen was negative. A brief period of antibiotics and gut rest led to the spontaneous resolution of haematochezia and colonic pneumatosis, facilitating early enteral feeds. This case report emphasises the need to differentiate NEC from benign Pcoli.


GI bleeding; Neonatal health; Ultrasonography.

Conflict of interest statement

Competing interests: None declared.