Cecal perforation secondary to fungal necrotizing enterocolitis in a premature neonate

Christina Onyebuchi, Christian Sommerhalder, Sifrance Tran, Ravi Radhakrishnan, Aijan Ukudeyeva, Suimmin Qiu, Kanika A. Bowen-Jallow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC) remains one of the most critical gastrointestinal comorbidities associated with neonatal prematurity and low birth weight. Despite extensive research and innovations for successful management, NEC remains the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in premature infants. NEC is commonly appreciated at the level of the small bowel, but in rare instances, it is experienced at the colon. While colonic perforation is rare, cecal perforation, specifically, is seldom reported. Case report: We report the successful surgical intervention of a preterm African-American infant born at 24-weeks' gestation found to have a cecal perforation due to fungal necrotizing enterocolitis. Discussion: Perforation is a major cause of morbidity in necrotizing enterocolitis, and even with extensive research in the management of necrotizing enterocolitis, mortality rates have remained unchanged; the treatment option with the most advantageous outcomes is still uncertain. Conclusion: To our knowledge, there are few reported cases of cecal perforation due to NEC. The pathologic report of our colonic specimen demonstrated mucosal invasion with Candida Albicans. This case report is noteworthy due to the unusual location of bowel perforation, fungal sepsis, and successful surgical outcome that is not commonly seen in neonates with intestinal candidiasis. Cecal perforation is rare in necrotizing enterocolitis but should not rule out the pathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number106304
JournalInternational Journal of Surgery Case Reports
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Candida Albicans
  • Case report
  • Cecal perforation
  • Enterocolitis
  • Fungal
  • Necrotizing
  • Premature neonates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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