Duplications of the gastrointestinal tract

H Nagar
Israel Medical Association Journal: IMAJ 1999, 1 (4): 254-6

BACKGROUND: Gastrointestinal duplications are rare, benign congenital lesions that may occur at any location along the alimentary tract and generally require surgical intervention. Presenting symptoms may be quite varied even among patients with the same anomaly.

OBJECTIVE: To review the clinical presentation of gastrointestinal duplications and present our experience with such lesions over the past decade.

METHODS: The records of all patients treated for gastrointestinal duplications at a tertiary hospital during 1987 through 1996 were collected, and relevant published literature reviewed.

RESULTS: In the nine patients with gastrointestinal duplications, six were in the small bowel and one each in the cecum, colon and esophagus. Presenting clinical features were varied and often subtle. Perinatal ultrasonography, radioscintography and computerized tomography were useful in some cases, while in others the correct diagnosis was established only at surgery.

CONCLUSIONS: Alimentary tract duplications are uncommon, and may present as solid or cystic tumors, intussusception, perforation or gastrointestinal bleeding. A high index of suspicion is required when dealing with such cases. Appropriate investigations, including imaging techniques, should be directed toward adequate and planned surgery.

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