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CYSTIC fibrosis is accompanied by a multitude of complications which the physician is called upon to manage. Meconium ileus is the earliest appearing complication and consists of obstruction of the small intestine with meconium which has become inspissated because of a deficiency of proteolytic and other enzymes from the pancreas and from the small intestine.
Relief of the obstructive mechanism and restoration of continuity of the intestinal tract are associated with an unusually high case fatality rate because of other associated complications of cystic fibrosis. Of these, the pulmonary complications are the most severe. The condition was generally considered hopeless prior to 1948 when Hiatt and Wilson reported the successful recovery of five of eight infants with meconium ileus.
The excellent report, in this issue, of 109 infants with meconium ileus is probably the largest single reported series. The more recent results are considered excellent for this condition, with nine
MARTIN LW. Meconium Ileus. Am J Dis Child. 1965;109(2):99-100. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090020101002