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Necrotising enterocolitis, focal intestinal perforation or something else: how best to proceed
  1. Janet Berrington1,2,
  2. Nicholas David Embleton1,3
  1. 1 Neonatal Department, Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  2. 2 Translational and Clinical Research Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  3. 3 Population Health Sciences Institute, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Janet Berrington, Neonatal Department, Newcastle Upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Newcastle Upon Tyne, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK; j.e.berrington{at}

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We thank Hall1 for his thoughtful commentary on our recent paper2 highlighting the difficulties and importance of separating necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) and focal intestinal perforation (FIP). The question of other abdominal pathology in our cohort was raised, and the extensive nature of our data collection means we can provide further information regarding this and classification details.

The full cohort (785) were screened for abdominal pathology, defined as surgical (laparotomy or drainage, or death before intention for laparotomy, excluding iatrogenic and congenital causes) or medical (definite abdominal X-ray abnormality agreed by two clinicians and ≥5 days metronidazole and nil-by-mouth). One hundred and seventy-three infants met the criteria, 11 with multiple episodes, resulting in 188 episodes. Of 188 episodes, 123 were originally classified as surgical and 65 as …

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  • Contributors Both authors contributed equally.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.