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J Pediatr Surg. 1985 Oct;20(5):525-8.

Ileocaecal atresia.


Meconium ileus is one of the commonest causes of distal small bowel obstruction in neonates. Within the last six years at our hospital two newborns presented with identical signs and symptoms of meconium ileus. Abdominal x-rays showed distal small bowel obstruction with ground glass opacity in the right lower quadrant. Gastrografin enema in both cases demonstrated a microcolon, but there was no reflux of this contrast material into the terminal ileum. Laparotomy in both babies revealed atresia of the ileocaecal valve with dilatation of the terminal ileum loops which contained normal meconium. Ileocolic resection was carried out in both neonates. Sweat chlorides and eventual recovery were normal. Pathology in one of the specimens showed muscularis passing across the atretic area with a telescoped pattern of the muscularis propria suggesting intussusception in utero. Although the presentation of a newborn may be that of meconium ileus, the fact that the Gastrografin enema is unable to enter the terminal ileum in a retrograde fashion should be an indication for immediate laparotomy rather than persisting in this mode of treatment. It is obvious that occasionally the radiological diagnosis of meconium ileus is incorrect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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