Atresia of the colon

J Pediatr Surg. 2005 Aug;40(8):1258-68. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2005.05.008.


Background/purpose: Colonic atresia (CA) is one of the rarest causes of neonatal intestinal obstructions, and no large series can be reported. Therefore, we did perform a retrospective clinical trial to delineate our CA cases and carry out a literature survey.

Methods: We reviewed the charts of CA cases treated in our center between 1992 and 2002. We aimed to collect all reported cases in Medline, and personal communications with the authors of published series were used to reach the missing data.

Results: The chart review revealed 9 newborns with CA treated in our center (6 cases of type III, 2 cases of type II, and 1 case of type IV). These accounted for 3.7% of all gastrointestinal atresias managed in our center. Of the CA cases, 3 were isolated and 6 had at least one or more associated congenital anomalies. The preferred surgical technique at the initial treatment of CA was performing a proximal stoma and distal mucous fistula in an average of postnatal 59.4 hours. The literature survey enabled us to reach 224 cases of CA, including our cases.

Conclusions: Because of the low incidence of CA, delay in diagnosis and treatment may occur. The mortality is statistically higher when the surgical management is performed after 72 hours of age. However, the prognosis of CA is satisfactory if diagnosis and surgical management could be made promptly and properly.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical
  • Colon / abnormalities*
  • Colostomy
  • Digestive System Abnormalities / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestinal Atresia / complications*
  • Intestinal Atresia / pathology
  • Intestinal Atresia / surgery
  • Intestinal Obstruction / etiology
  • Intestinal Obstruction / mortality
  • Intestinal Obstruction / surgery*
  • Jejunostomy
  • Male
  • Retrospective Studies