JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Alimentary tract duplications in infants and children.

This is a review of 30 duplications of the alimentary tract in 28 patients treated at the Surgical Unit of the Children's Department of the Medical University of Pécs, Hungary, and at the Department of Pediatric Surgery of the Medical Academy of Dresden, Germany, from 1964 to 1989. The ages of patients ranged from 1 day to 13 years, 80 percent were less than 2 years of age at initial presentation. There were 6 thoracic, 20 abdominal and 2 thoraco-abdominal duplications. Distended abdomen, vomiting, bowel obstruction and palpable abdominal mass were most frequently encountered. Plain thoracic and abdominal x-rays, ultrasonography, barium esophagogram, barium meal and enema were the most common diagnostic procedures. Emergency operative intervention was required in 18 patients. One infant died of an unrelated disease. Twenty-three duplications were cystic and 3 tubular. One patient had an appendiceal duplication, and another patient a flat lumenless duplication located on the perineum close to the anal opening. The surgical procedure--removal of the duplication--should not be more radical than necessary to eliminate the potential complaints and prevent recurrence. During surgery the common blood supply shared between the duplication and the native bowel must be carefully protected to avoid undue sacrifice of normal bowel.

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