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Gastrointestinal duplications

P S Puligandla, L T Nguyen, D St-Vil, H Flageole, A L Bensoussan, V H Nguyen, J M Laberge
Journal of Pediatric Surgery 2003, 38 (5): 740-4

BACKGROUND/PURPOSE: The aim of this study was to review the presentations of gastrointestinal duplication (GID) and to assess the influence of prenatal diagnosis on treatment.

METHODS: Retrospective review of all GID at 2 pediatric hospitals from 1980-2002 was conducted.

RESULTS: Seventy-three patients (M43:F30) were identified: 21 neonates, 28 infants (1 to 24 months), 15 children (1 to 10 years), 9 adolescents (>/=11 years). GID location by frequency was ileum (31.5%), ileocaecal valve (30.2%), duodenum (9.6%), stomach (8.2%), jejunum (8.2%), colon (6.8%), and rectum (5.5%). In neonates and infants, vomiting and distension were the most common presentations. Volvulus, caused by a duplication, occurred in 23.8% of neonates and caused the death of one neonate. Intussusception was identified in 10.9% of patients. In older children and adolescents, pain and vomiting were the most common associations. Six of these patients were being treated for Crohn's disease, with the diagnosis of duplication made at laparotomy. Eighteen patients had a prenatal diagnosis by ultrasound scan, with 77.2% of these asymptomatic after birth. Most prenatal diagnoses occurred after 1991 (77.8%). When comparing an earlier period (1980 to 1991; 29 patients) with the current (1992 to 2002; 44 patients), a greater proportion of the latter patients were asymptomatic (36.4 v 13.8%) and had a lower incidence of complications (volvulus/intussusception).

CONCLUSIONS: GID can lead to life-threatening complications. Prenatal diagnosis should lead to expeditious postnatal investigation and treatment before the onset of symptoms or complications. GID in older children can mimic Crohn's disease. Laparoscopy/laparotomy should be considered in patients with atypical Crohn's disease or when the diagnosis of an intraabdominal mass is unclear.

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