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Ultrasound Obstet Gynecol. 2001 Feb;17(2):172-4.

Congenital microvillous inclusion disease presenting as antenatal bowel obstruction.

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  • 1Department of Child Health, London, UK. n.kennea@ic.ac.uk


Prenatal ultrasound has led to confidence in the antenatal diagnosis of intestinal obstruction allowing counseling and birth planning. We describe a male infant of a diabetic mother who had an antenatal diagnosis of distal bowel obstruction. This baby was subsequently found not to have bowel obstruction, but a congenital enteropathy - microvillous inclusion disease. The antenatal scans had demonstrated polyhydramnios as well as multiple fluid-filled dilated loops of bowel in the fetal abdomen. To our knowledge, similar prenatal ultrasound findings have not been previously described in this condition. The baby was delivered in a pediatric surgical center and postnatally there was no evidence of bowel obstruction either clinically or on abdominal X-ray. This baby initially fed well, but became collapsed and acidotic on his third day, having lost 26% of his birth weight due to excessive stool loss. The diagnosis of microvillous inclusion disease was made by electron microscopy of a small bowel biopsy. Congenital microvillous inclusion disease is a very rare inherited enteropathy with high mortality and morbidity. This condition, and other enteropathies, should be considered in cases in which antenatally diagnosed bowel obstruction is not confirmed after birth.

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