Rectal duplications

J Pediatr Surg. 1990 Sep;25(9):980-4. doi: 10.1016/0022-3468(90)90242-2.


Recent experience with two cases of rectal duplication, which had been misdiagnosed as hemorrhoids, or fistula-in-ano with resultant delay in diagnosis, prompted us to review our prior experience with 11 of these unusual cases. Age at presentation ranged from newborn to 18 years (mean, 17 months). The most common presenting sign was a perianal or anal fistula, observed in five children. Two children presenting with fistulae had concomitant infection in the duplication. Other presenting signs included obstruction or prolapse caused by the rectal mass in three patients, rectal bleeding in three, and urinary retention in one. Some children presented with more than one finding. No associated spinal or vertebral anomalies were observed. Total excision was performed using a transanal approach in eight patients, postanal (transcoccygeal) in two, and posterior sagittal in one. Postoperative continence was normal in all patients. These cases illustrate that rectal duplications can be confused with other types of anorectal pathology including hemorrhoids, fistula-in-ano, and perirectal abscess. Total excision performed using a posterior sagittal, transanal, or transcoccygeal approach is curative.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage / etiology
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Rectal Diseases / etiology
  • Rectal Fistula / etiology
  • Rectal Prolapse / etiology
  • Rectum / abnormalities*
  • Rectum / surgery