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Clinical spectrum of alimentary tract duplication in children

Hsin-Ching Kuo, Hung-Chang Lee, Chun-Hong Shin, Jin-Cherng Sheu, Pei-Yeh Chang, Nien-Lu Wang
Acta Paediatrica Taiwanica, Taiwan Er Ke Yi Xue Hui za Zhi 2004, 45 (2): 85-8

UNLABELLED: Alimentary tract duplication is a rare congenital malformations. Sixteen patients admitted to our pediatric ward were enrolled in a ten-year study over the most recent decade. In this paper, we trace their history and retrospectively analyze sex, age, clinical presentations, duplication size and location, presence of ectopic tissue, complications and additional associated anomalies and prognosis. The duplications were cystic in all cases except one tubular duplication of the colon. The cases included duplication of the stomach in 3 cases (19%); ileum in 12 cases (63%); appendix in 1 case (5%); colon in 3 cases (16%); and rectum in 1 case (5%). The most frequent symptom was intermittent vomiting, half of which occurred before 1 year of age. Other symptoms included abdominal pain (50%), abdominal distension (30%), palpable mass (20%), peritoneal sign (13%), bloody stool (6%), fever (6%), and constipation (6%). The outcome was good, except in 2 patients, 1 of whom died of a perforation of the sigmoid colon duplication, and another who was complicated with multiple congenital anomalies.

CONCLUSION: In our series, the average time period from the initial onset of symptoms to the diagnosis was 6.9 days, with only one exception (a 17-year-old girl who had habitual constipation). The constipation in the single exception was not a specific presentation, which may have delayed the diagnosis. Pediatric patients with unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms must be diagnosed for the possibility of alimentary tract duplication, even though it rarely occurs. Ultrasonography is helpful in diagnosing a duplication, as it will identify a three-layered image representing the duplication cyst, common wall, and outer bowel wall. These features have proven useful for establishing the correct diagnosis or ruling out alimentary tract duplication where surgery was indicated anyway.

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