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An unusual complication of umbilical catheterisation.

We report the first case of perforated Meckel's diverticulum in a 1-day-old pre-term infant as a consequence of umbilical vein catheterisation. The clinical course consisted of abdominal distension and pneumoperitoneum that occurred after 12 h of life. Perforated Meckel's diverticulum was found at laparotomy. Neither inflammatory phenomena nor ectopic mucosa were found at microscopical examination. Perforation of the diverticulum was a complication of umbilical catheter insertion through a narrow lumen in the umbilical cord mistaken for an umbilical vein and connected to Meckel's diverticulum through a very short fibrous band. A search of the literature did not reveal any similar cases.

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