Items in AFP with MESH term: Hirschsprung Disease
ABSTRACT: Hirschsprung's disease (congenital megacolon) is caused by the failed migration of colonic ganglion cells during gestation. Varying lengths of the distal colon are unable to relax, causing functional colonic obstruction. Hirschsprung's disease most commonly involves the rectosigmoid region of the colon but can affect the entire colon and, rarely, the small intestine. The disease usually presents in infancy, although some patients present with persistent, severe constipation later in life. Symptoms in infants include difficult bowel movements, poor feeding, poor weight gain, and progressive abdominal distention. Early diagnosis is important to prevent complications (e.g., enterocolitis, colonic rupture). A rectal suction biopsy can detect hypertrophic nerve trunks and the absence of ganglion cells in the colonic submucosa, confirming the diagnosis. Up to one third of patients develop Hirschsprung's-associated enterocolitis, a significant cause of mortality. Patients should be monitored closely for enterocolitis for years after surgical treatment of Hirschsprung's disease. With proper treatment, most patients will not have long-term adverse effects and can live normally.
ABSTRACT: Timely passage of the first stool is a hallmark of the well-being of the newborn infant. Failure of a full-term newborn to pass meconium in the first 24 hours may signal intestinal obstruction. Lower intestinal obstruction may be associated with disorders such as Hirschsprung's disease, anorectal malformations, meconium plug syndrome, small left colon syndrome, hypoganglionosis, neuronal intestinal dysplasia and megacystis-microcolon-intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome. Radiologic studies are usually required to make the diagnosis. In addition, specific tests such as pelvic magnetic resonance imaging, anorectal manometry and rectal biopsy are helpful in the evaluation of newborns with failure to pass meconium.