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February 1965

Meconium Ileus: A 20-Year Review of 109 Cases

Author Affiliations

From the Hospital for Sick Children, London, and Queen Mary's Hospital for Children, Carshalton, Surrey, England. Formerly exchange Medical Registrar, presently affiliated with Department of Pediatrics, US Naval Hospital, Oakland, Calif (Dr. Holsclaw); Consultant Surgeon, Queen Mary's Hospital for Children, Carshalton, and formerly Resident Assistant Surgeon, the Hospital for Sick Children (Dr. Eckstein); Consultant Surgeon, the Hospital for Sick Children (Dr. Nixon).

Am J Dis Child. 1965;109(2):101-113. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1965.02090020103003

MECONIUM ileus is a form of intestinal obstruction in the newborn. It is also a clinical manifestation of cystic fibrosis. The obstruction is usually in the terminal ileum and is caused by inability to pass the characteristic thick, tenacious meconium. Until recently1 the condition carried a very poor prognosis. However, with improved surgical techniques and postoperative medical care, an increasing number of cases have been successfully treated. The purpose of this report is to review our total experience of this condition in 109 cases from 1944 to the present.

Historical Review  Landsteiner,2 in 1905, was the first to record the association of the pancreatic changes characteristic of cystic fibrosis with acute intestinal obstruction due to inspissated meconium. Although several other cases were recorded from time to time,3 Andersen4 in 1938 and Farber5 in 1944 in their classic papers settled the contention that the histological changes