Arkadiusz Sitek, Joanna Seliga-Siwecka, Szymon Płotka, Michal K. Grzeszczyk, Szymon Seliga, Krzysztof Włodarczyk, Renata Bokiniec

Necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) is one of the most common diseases in neonates and predominantly affects premature or very-low-birth-weight infants. Diagnosis is difficult and needed in hours since the first symptom onset for the best therapeutic effects. Artificial intelligence (AI) may play a significant role in NEC diagnosis. A literature search on the use of AI in the diagnosis of NEC was performed. Four databases (PubMed, Embase, arXiv, and IEEE Xplore) were searched with the appropriate MeSH terms. The search yielded 118 publications that were reduced to 8 after screening and checking for eligibility. Of the eight, five used classic machine learning (ML), and three were on the topic of deep ML. Most publications showed promising results. However, no publications with evident clinical benefits were found. Datasets used for training and testing AI systems were small and typically came from a single institution. The potential of AI to improve the diagnosis of NEC is evident. The body of literature on this topic is scarce, and more research in this area is needed, especially with a focus on clinical utility. Cross-institutional data for the training and testing of AI algorithms are required to make progress in this area.