Meconium ileus, a rare condition found in newborn infants, was first described by Landsteiner1 in 1905. At autopsy he found tough, inspissated meconium obstructing the ileum of a 5 day old child, together with occlusion of the major pancreatic duct and consequent pancreatic fibrosis. Since his original publication there have been other reports of this condition, most of them associated with severe lesions of the pancreas and its main ducts. A few cases without pancreatic changes have also been described, the major lesions being in the liver or in the intestine itself. The clinical symptoms in all cases are those of intestinal obstruction, and an accurate clinical diagnosis of the fundamental changes underlying the obstruction is usually impossible to make. Autopsy is necessary to disclose the nature of the lesion.
Recently an extremely interesting case of meconium ileus came to autopsy at the Albany Hospital, and it seems advisable