CONGENITAL megacolon was recognized as a clinical entity in 1887, following Hirschsprung's comprehensive analysis of two patients with this disease. Up until a few years ago the term "Hirschsprung's disease" had been used to describe enlargement of the colon in those patients not having demonstrable organic cause for their megacolon.
In 1920 the first comprehensive study of the ganglion cells of a colon from a patient with Hirschsprung's disease was made by Dalla Valle. He reported the absence of ganglion cells in the narrowed segment of bowel distal to the dilated colon.
In 1949 Neuhauser described a technique of barium-enema examination for demonstrating the narrowed, aganglionic segment. Following this noteworthy contribution, Swenson described an operative technique for removal of the abnormal segment and restoration of the continuity of the bowel with preservation of the anal sphincters.
In this exhibit, special emphasis is directed to the variations in the roentgenographic appearances
MOKROHISKY JF, KEEFER GP. CONGENITAL AGANGLIONIC MEGACOLON: Hirschsprung's Disease. AMA Am J Dis Child. 1955;90(6):716–729. doi:https://doi.org/10.1001/archpedi.1955.04030010718013
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