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December 1957

Meckel's Diverticulum in Children

Author Affiliations

Associate Professor of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine; Surgeon-in-Chief, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh.; From the Surgical Clinic of the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, and the Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

AMA Arch Surg. 1957;75(6):914-919. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1957.01280180046007

The diverticular outpouching of the small intestine which bears the name of Johann Meckel was described in medical literature as early as the 17th century, but it remained for this German anatomist to give the first adequate description of the pathologic entity and to associate it with the faulty obliteration of the omphalomesenteric duct.

This diverticulum occurs relatively frequently and has even been claimed by some to be the commonest anomaly of the gastrointestinal tract.1 The generally accepted incidence of 1% to 2% in the over-all population is comparable to the occurrence of inguinal hernias in childhood, which is, likewise, about 2%. Kittle, Jenkins, and Dragstedt,2 found this lesion in 0.5% of a large autopsy series, while in the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh the incidence has been 1.3% in an autopsy series of 1809 patients. This would seem to point up a relative frequency of occurrence of this

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