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      Intestinal obstruction due to dual gastrointestinal atresia in infants: diagnosis and management of 3 cases


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          Several types of congenital lesions can cause complete or incomplete obstruction of the intestine. Our purpose is to present 3 neonates with dual intestinal type I atresia, i.e., simultaneous obstructive lesions at 2 locations in which the atresia manifested as diaphragm-like tissue.

          Case presentation

          All 3 cases were female infants ranging in age from 2 to 14 months. The common symptom in all cases was intermittent persistent vomiting. In some cases the vomitus was bilious, and other symptoms included abdominal distention and delayed meconium passage. Prior surgeries at another hospital were unsuccessful at relieving the symptoms in one case. One case had dual lesions in the colon, one dual lesions in the duodenum, and one atresia at both the distal portion of the ileum and the descending colon. Surgical exploration and removal of the lesions at our hospital was successful in all cases, and the infants were discharged in good condition.


          Type I atresia can manifest as a diaphragm-like tissue obstructing the continuity of gastrointestinal tract, and in rare cases multiple areas may be present. Base on the intermittent nature of the associated symptoms, diagnosis can be difficult and is often delayed. Physicians should be aware of this condition during the work-up of an infant with persistent intermittent vomiting.

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          Most cited references9

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          Intestinal atresia and stenosis: a 25-year experience with 277 cases.

          To evaluate the causes, clinical presentation, diagnosis, operative management, postoperative care, and outcome in infants with intestinal atresia. Retrospective case series. Pediatric tertiary care teaching hospital. A population-based sample of 277 neonates with intestinal atresia and stenosis treated from July 1, 1972, through April 30, 1997. The level of obstruction was duodenal in 138 infants, jejunoileal in 128, and colonic in 21. Of the 277 neonates, 10 had obstruction in more than 1 site. Duodenal atresia was associated with prematurity (46%), maternal polyhydramnios (33%), Down syndrome (24%), annular pancreas (33%), and malrotation (28%). Jejunoileal atresia was associated with intrauterine volvulus, (27%), gastroschisis (16%), and meconium ileus (11.7%). Patients with duodenal obstruction were treated by duodenoduodenostomy in 119 (86%), of 138 patients duodenotomy with web excision in 9 (7%), and duodenojejunostomy in 7 (5%) A duodenostomy tube was placed in 3 critically ill neonates. Patients with jejunoileal atresia were treated with resection in 97 (76%) of 128 patients (anastomosis, 45 [46%]; tapering enteroplasty, 23 [24%]; or temporary ostomy, 29 [30%]), ostomy alone in 25 (20%), web excision in 5 (4%), and the Bianchi procedure in 1 (0.8%). Patients with colon atresia were managed with initial ostomy and delayed anastomosis in 18 (86%) of 21 patients and resection with primary anastomosis in 3 (14%). Short-bowel syndrome was noted in 32 neonates. Morbidity and early and late mortality. Operative mortality for neonates with duodenal atresia was 4%, with jejunoileal atresia, 0.8%, and with colonic atresia, 0%. The long-term survival rate for children with duodenal atresia was 86%; with jejunoileal atresia, 84%; and with colon atresia, 100%. The Bianchi procedure (1 patient, 0.8%) and growth hormone, glutamine, and modified diet (4 patients, 1%) reduced total parenteral nutrition dependence. Cardiac anomalies (with duodenal atresia) and ultrashort-bowel syndrome (<40 cm) requiring long-term total parenteral nutrition, which can be complicated by liver disease (with jejunoileal atresia), are the major causes of morbidity and mortality in these patients. Use of growth factors to enhance adaptation and advances in small bowel transplantation may improve long-term outcomes.
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            Duodenal atresia and stenosis: long-term follow-up over 30 years.

            Duodenal atresia and stenosis is a frequent cause of congenital, intestinal obstruction. Current operative techniques and contemporary neonatal critical care result in a 5% morbidity and mortality rate, with late complications not uncommon, but unknown to short-term follow-up. A retrospective review of patients with duodenal anomalies was performed from 1972 to 2001 at a tertiary, children's hospital to identify late morbidity and mortality. Duodenal atresia or stenosis was identified in 169 patients. Twenty children required additional abdominal operations after their initial repair with average follow-up of 6 years (range, 1 month to 18 years) including fundoplication (13), operation for complicated peptic ulcer disease (4), and adhesiolysis (4). Sixteen children underwent revision of their initial repair: tapering duodenoplasty or duodenal plication (7), conversion of duodenojejunostomy to duodenoduodenostomy (3), redo duodenojejunostomy (3), redo duodenoduodenostomy (2), and conversion of gastrojejunostomy to duodenoduodenostomy (1). There were 10 late deaths (range, 3 months to 14 years) attributable to complex cardiac malformations (5), central nervous system bleeding (1), pneumonia (1), anastomotic leak (1), and multisystem organ failure (2). Late complications occur in 12% of patients with congenital duodenal anomalies, and the associated late mortality rate is 6%, which is low but not negligible. Follow-up of these patients into adulthood is recommended to identify and address these late occurrences.
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              Neonatal bowel obstruction.

              Newborn intestinal obstructions are a common reason for admission to neonatal ICUs. The incidence is estimated to be approximately 1 in 2000 live births. There are 4 cardinal signs of intestinal obstruction in newborns: (1) maternal polyhydramnios, (2) bilious emesis, (3) failure to pass meconium in the first day of life, and (4) abdominal distention. The presentation may vary from subtle and easily overlooked findings on physical examination to massive abdominal distention with respiratory distress and cardiovascular collapse. A careful history and physical examination often identify the diagnosis. Concomitant resuscitation (volume, gastric decompression, and ventilatory support) may be necessary. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

                Author and article information

                BMC Gastroenterol
                BMC Gastroenterol
                BMC Gastroenterology
                BioMed Central
                13 June 2014
                : 14
                : 108
                [1 ]Pediatric Surgery Department of the First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
                [2 ]Hepatobiliary Surgery Department of the First Affiliated Hospital, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
                Copyright © 2014 Chen et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

                This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly credited. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

                Case Report

                Gastroenterology & Hepatology
                type i atresia,gastrointestinal diaphragm,congenital,intestinal obstruction,infant


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