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September 1957

Management of Symptomatic Aganglionic Megacolon in Early Infancy

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery and Radiology, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(3):388-397. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280150078008

Aganglionic megacolon is an important and frequent cause of intestinal obstruction in neonatal and young infants. Its clinical recognition and treatment warrant further evaluation. This paper reviews the recent experience at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh in 30 infants with symptomatic aganglionic megacolon. The data show the serious nature of the condition and indicate that prompt colostomy to relieve obstruction must take precedence over medical and drug therapy.

Literature  In 1952, Potts, Boggs, and White1 reported their experience in 10 young infants with symptomatic aganglionic megacolon. Six of these infants died. The authors concluded that an early pull-through procedure was indicated but that sigmoid colostomy was the procedure of choice in the poorrisk infant. Ehrenpreis2 recorded his observations in 10 infants with symptomatic aganglionic megacolon; 5 infants died. Hays and Norris3 reported a mortality rate of more than 50% in infants hospitalized in the neonatal period for