JOURNAL ARTICLE
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Alimentary tract duplications in children: report of 16 years' experience.

BACKGROUND: Alimentary tract duplications (ATDs) are a rare condition in children, characterised by a large pathogenic, clinical, and histological polymorphism. Surgical observation and pathologic evaluation of the resected specimens are the only way to confirm the diagnosis. In this study, we want to analyse the anatomical, clinical and therapeutic aspects of this entity.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 12 cases of ATD were diagnosed over a 16-year period at paediatric surgery department. The diagnosis was evoked on clinical and radiological data. Histological study of the resected specimens confirmed the diagnosis in all cases.

RESULTS: The mean age of patients at diagnosis was 41 months with a peak of incidence at the 1 st year of life (42%). Out of a total 12 cases, 10 were girls and 2 were boys. Abdominal pain and vomiting were the most frequent presenting features. Ultrasonography, tomodensitometry and magnetic resonance imaging were useful for diagnosis. ATDs were localised on the oesophagus in one case, the stomach in one case, the duodenum in four cases, the ileum in five cases, and the colon in one case. All these duplications were cystic, with three communicating duplications. All patients underwent surgery, and resection procedure was chosen according to duplication type and site. Histological study confirmed the diagnosis in all cases.

CONCLUSION: ATDs are a rare condition in children. Diagnosis relies on histology, and treatment can only be by means of surgery. The outcome after surgery is generally favourable. Diagnosis and precocious surgery of ATDs can warn serious complications.

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