Necrotising enterocolitis: state-of-the-art research and clinical management in preterm infants

November 16 - 17 2023

General Information

General Information

Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is a major cause of death and serious disability in preterm infants and understanding is relevant to all NICU practitioners, as well as gastroenterologists, hepatologists, and a range of Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) especially dieticians and pharmacists. Whilst NEC only affects 5-10% of very preterm infants, the fear of NEC dominates decision making on a day to day basis on the NICU. The risk of NEC is affected by and impacts on feeding rate, milk type including the use of donor human milk, the use of fortifiers or supplements including breast milk fortifiers, and other interventions such as probiotics. 

In the short term, up to 50% of infants with NEC require surgery, of whom half may not survive.
In the longer term, NEC may result in short gut requiring prolonged use of parenteral nutrition, some of which may be provided at home. NEC has major impacts on brain development affecting long-term cognitive outcome and is likely to have a large impact on quality of life over the life-course. In recent years there has been an increase in research aimed at early prediction (using microbiomic, metabolomic and other predictors) and prophylaxis using for example probiotics or other immunonutrients.

This conference will compromise a faculty consisting of scientific and clinical experts in the prevention, diagnosis, prediction, and management of NEC as well as parents to talk about their experiences. The faculty will be international and include recognised experts in their fields. The presentations will consist of state-of-the-art lectures covering the basic science of underlying mechanisms, along with clinical aspects of prevention and management.

The course language is English.
This school is supported by the ESPGHAN Education Partner Programme.

Registration & Fees

Application are now open. Deadline to apply: 30.09.2023
Participation Fees:
ESPGHAN Members: EUR 150
Non-Members: EUR 150

The participation fee needs to be paid upon receipt of the respective invoice.

Kindly use the online application form on this page. Application by email cannot be accepted. If you experience any issues with the online tool, please contact 

ESPGHAN Members may attend two courses per year and non-members may attend one course before becoming members of the society. 

Delegates are expected to attend the full course and arrange their travel according to the course schedule. 

The course language is English.

Preliminary Programme

Day 01 - November 16, 2023

Day 1 (4 lectures + 4 original science presentations)

Lunch & arrival 13.00-14.00

• Introductions and meet the faculty
• What causes NEC – latest thinking on clinical risk factors (Chris van den Akker)
• The preterm intestinal virome and its potential implications for NEC (Anders Brunse)

• Tea & poster viewing

• Bionutrients, clinical trials and NEC (Nick Embleton) 
• Exclusive human milk diet & fortifiers: current data on NEC prevention (Magnus Domellöf)
• Original abstract presentations (top 4 abstracts)
• Round table

• Conference dinner

Day 02 - November 17, 2023

Day 2 (8 lectures)


• Bacteriophage modulation of gut microbiota and future NEC prevention (Darren Smith)
• Breastmilk HMOs and infant microbiome in relation to NEC (Chris Stewart)

• Coffee

• 3 lectures & round table
• Breastmilk IgA concentrations and potential impacts on NEC (Claire Granger)
• Diagnosing NEC in clinical & research practice – do we agree? (Janet Berrington)
• Surgery for NEC: Early or Late and when to use peritoneal drains (Mark Johnson)

• Lunch

• Parental nutrition during critical illness (Sissel Moltu)
• Long term nutritional support following NEC: intestinal rehabilitation, PN and micronutrients (Jiri Bronsky)

• Tea

• 1 lecture and round table
• Family experience: what we wanted to know, but you didn’t tell us (Marie Spruce)

Close 16.00hrs


Please be aware that ESPGHAN will be taking photos and/or videos at this event. By registering and attending th is course you acknowledge and agree to the terms and conditions. Details of the disclaimer will be attached to your notification email. Please contact if you have any questions or concerns.


If you have any questions, please contact the ESPGHAN Office for details.
Phone: +41 (0)22 9000 401