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October 1975

Congenital Defects of the Gastrointestinal Tract and Abdominal Wall: A Three-Year Review

Author Affiliations

From the Division of General Surgery, Children's Memorial Hospital, Chicago.

Am J Dis Child. 1975;129(10):1145-1150. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1975.02120470007003

• One hundred forty-four infants with anomalies of the gastrointestinal tract and abdominal wall were treated at Children's Memorial Hospital between July 1970 and July 1973. The overall mortality, including unoperated infants and those dying from other causes up to six months later, was 17%. Associated defects, particularly of the heart and CNS, were the most common causes for death. Many infants were premature; however, this factor alone did not contribute to mortality. Differences in surgical technique did not affect mortality in patients with esophageal atresia, but one baby with total aganglionosis of his colon and two with gastroschisis may have survived with different modes of therapy.

Although previous advances in pediatric surgery contributed to the overall good results in these infants, parenteral alimentation emerged as the single most important factor in improved survival during this study period.

(Am J Dis Child 129:1145-1150, 1975)