Contrast enema was performed in a select group of 126 neonates with ambiguous diagnosis of necrotizing enterocolitis (NEC). Enema findings were compared with that on plain abdominal radiographs (AXR) and the clinical outcome. Thirty-one of the 34 patients with a discharge diagnosis of NEC were interpreted to have a positive contrast enema, and 91 of the 92 patients without a discharge diagnosis of NEC were interpreted to have a negative contrast enema. The AXR was interpreted as positive in 57 patients and as negative or indeterminate in 69. Not a single case of perforation was produced. Judicious use of contrast enema can improve specificity of diagnosis in cases with discordant clinical and plain radiographic findings.
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