Lightning Learning: Hirschsprung's Disease
Hirschsprung’s Disease is a congenital condition which (normally) affects the large intestine (colon). It is fairly rare, affecting approximately 1 in every 5000 births.
Normally affects the rectum or sigmoid colon. Rarely it can affect entire colon. Causes problems with constipation which is not responsive to stool softeners/laxatives.
In extreme cases can lead to intestinal obstruction.
In utero the foetus does not develop the required ganglion cells (Aganglionosis) in the affected section of bowel. It is not fully understood why this occurs. There are certain genes that have been linked to Hirschsprung’s disease but not all children will express these mutations.
Not passing meconium in Day 1 of life
Diagnosis is made through a combination of thorough voiding history and ultimately a biopsy to confirm aganglionosis
Consult with Surgeons
Order abdominal x-ray. Sections of bowel will look distended and subsequent sections will look narrower than normal
Symptomatic relief can be given via bowel washout
Ultimately will require surgical correction with a Duhamel pull-through procedure