Malawi Medical Journal

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Congenital obstructive bowel anomalies presenting after neonatal age

Sebastian Ekenze


Delayed presentation might affect the ultimate management of children with congenital bowel obstructive bowel anomalies (CBA). We evaluated the profile, challenges of treatment and outcome of CBA presenting after neonatal age.
We did a retrospective analysis of data of children with CBA presenting after neonatal age from January 2013 to November 2017. We used the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) for data entry and analysis.
There were 57 cases in total comprising of Hirschsprung’s disease (HD; 37 cases), anorectal malformation (ARM; 15 cases), and duodeno-jejunal web (5 cases), with median age of 9 months (IQR 4 months – 2 years) on presentation. Overall, 52 (91.2%) patients had one or more complications on presentation. Definitive procedure did not differ from established operations, but only 9 (15.8%) had primary procedures and 48 (84.2%) cases required multi-stage treatment. After an average follow up period of 19.5 months (range: 1 – 45 months), 18 (31.6%) cases developed procedure-related complications and 3 (5.3%) had residual bowel dysfunction, but there was no mortality. The morbidity was limited to cases with HD and ARM.
In our setting, HD is the commonest bowel anomaly that presents after the neonatal age. The delayed presentation may predispose to complications and preclude single-stage treatment in some cases. Training of healthcare providers to improve recognition and early referral of these anomalies may lead to early diagnosis and minimize morbidity.
AJOL African Journals Online