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J Pediatr Surg. 2006 Dec;41(12):2056-8.

Cow's milk protein allergy presenting with Hirschsprung's disease-mimicking symptoms.

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  • 1Department of Pediatric Surgery, Osaka Medical Center and Research Institute for Maternal and Child Health, Osaka 594-1101, Japan.



Pediatric surgeons often encounter neonates who present with Hirschsprung's disease (HD)-like symptoms and plain x-ray findings, but respond well to conservative treatment. During our investigation of the etiology of this condition, which we named "benign transient nonorganic ileus of neonates" (BTNIN), we noticed that BTNIN included cases of cow's milk allergy (CMA). Therefore, a prospective study of the identity of BTNIN and CMA was conducted.


Cow's milk allergy was diagnosed when a baby showed HD-like symptoms after oral feeding, and a drug-induced lymphocyte stimulation test was positive for cow's milk with a titer of more than 300%.


Of 38 neonates with suspected HD, a surgical disorder was excluded by plain x-ray in 9, intestinal atresia was diagnosed in 3, and the remaining 26 were enrolled in this study.


Of 26 cases, 9 were diagnosed as HD by manometric studies and 17 as CMA. Thirteen of 17 CMA cases had been fed with breast milk and 4 with formula milk.


The proportion of CMA in the cases presenting with HD-like symptoms in the neonatal period is much higher than what we expected, and most cases of BTNIN are caused by CMA. If HD is ruled out, CMA should be considered.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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