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January 1965

Perforation of the Colon: Secondary to the Meconium Plug Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery, Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia. Currently Associate Professor of Surgery, The Johns Hopkins Hospital Baltimore, Md 21205 (Dr. Ballinger).

Arch Surg. 1965;90(1):65-67. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1965.01320070067014

PERFORATION of the colon in the new-born is followed by a high mortality; it may occur secondary to obstruction, inflammation, or instrumentation.1 The first infant known to have survived this condition was reported in 1950 by Lee and MacMillian.4 Their patient recovered after repair of perforation of the cecum secondary to atresia of the splenic flexure. Standard9 reported the second survivor of perforation of the colon in 1952. However, no obstructing lesion could be found in his patient at operation or thereafter. McLanaghan and Gilmore7 reported two more survivors in whom no apparent obstruction was found at operation but the infants died months later from other congenital anomalies. Lyall and Michie6 recently reviewed the literature and found reports of only eight neonatal patients who have survived perforation of the colon.

Clatworthy2 reported nine cases of the meconium plug syndrome in 1956. This characteristic low