GTR Home > Conditions/Phenotypes > Hirschsprung disease 2

Disease characteristics

Excerpted from the GeneReview: Hirschsprung Disease Overview
Hirschsprung disease (HSCR), or congenital intestinal aganglionosis, is a birth defect characterized by complete absence of neuronal ganglion cells from a portion of the intestinal tract. The aganglionic segment includes the distal rectum and a variable length of contiguous proximal intestine. In 80% of individuals, aganglionosis is restricted to the rectosigmoid colon (short-segment disease); in 15%-20%, aganglionosis extends proximal to the sigmoid colon (long-segment disease); in about 5%, aganglionosis affects the entire large intestine (total colonic aganglionosis). Rarely, the aganglionosis extends into the small bowel or even more proximally to encompass the entire bowel (total intestinal aganglionosis). HSCR is considered a neurocristopathy, a disorder of cells and tissues derived from the neural crest, and may occur as an isolated finding or as part of a multisystem disorder. Affected infants frequently present in the first two months of life with symptoms of impaired intestinal motility such as failure to pass meconium within the first 48 hours of life, constipation, emesis, abdominal pain or distention, and occasionally diarrhea. However, because the initial diagnosis of HSCR may be delayed until late childhood or adulthood, HSCR should be considered in anyone with lifelong severe constipation. Individuals with HSCR are at risk for enterocolitis and/or potentially lethal intestinal perforation.

Associated genes

  • Also known as: RP11-318G21.1, ABCDS, ET-B, ET-BR, ETB, ETBR, ETRB, HSCR, HSCR2, WS4A, EDNRB
    Summary: endothelin receptor type B

Clinical features

  • Aganglionic megacolon

IMPORTANT NOTE: NIH does not independently verify information submitted to the GTR; it relies on submitters to provide information that is accurate and not misleading. NIH makes no endorsements of tests or laboratories listed in the GTR. GTR is not a substitute for medical advice. Patients and consumers with specific questions about a genetic test should contact a health care provider or a genetics professional.

Write to the Help Desk