Clinicopathological study of intestinal smooth muscles, interstitial cells of Cajal, and enteric neurons in neonatal jejuno-ileal atresia with special reference to muscle morphometry

J Pediatr Surg. 2019 Nov;54(11):2291-2299. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2019.06.003. Epub 2019 Jun 19.

Abstract

Purpose: To assess the thickness of the intestinal smooth muscle layer and analyze the distribution and density of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC) and enteric neurons in the proximal and distal segments of neonatal jejuno-ileal atresia.

Methods: This is an observational study done over a period of one year in which fifteen cases of jejuno-ileal atresia were included. All the cases underwent laparotomy and resection of the atretic segment with variable portions of the dilated proximal segment and distal segment. Histopathological analysis was done on the sections taken from proximal segments (at 3 cm, 5 cm & 8 cm) and the distal segment (at 2 cm) from the atretic portion. The mean thickness of the inner circular muscle layer (ICML) and outer longitudinal muscle layer (OLML) was assessed in the above segments using image morphometry. In addition, we also analyzed the distribution and density of the ICCs and enteric neurons in the different segments using immunohistochemistry for c-kit and S-100, respectively. Controls included normal jejuno-ileal segments resected from postmortem cases (n=7) and other nonrelated surgeries (n=3). The findings were then compared with each-other and with normal controls.

Results: Mean thickness of ICML and OLML of the proximal segments at 8 cm was significantly lower than at 3 cm and 5 cm of ileal and jejunal atresias (p≪ 0.5). The mean thickness of ICML and OLML of distal segments at 2 cm was similar to the controls in all the atretic cases (p≫ 0.5). The mean ICML thickness at proximal 8 cm segment was similar to the distal segment of both ileal & jejunal atresias (p= 0.06 & 0.37 respectively). The mean thickness of the OLML of the proximal 8 cm segments was significantly more than that at the distal segment (p=0.008) in ileal atresias but was similar in cases of jejunal atresias (p=0.07). Both the proximal and distal segments of ileal as well as jejunal atresias showed reduction in distribution and density of ICCs, as compared to normal controls. The density of ICCs in proximal segments at 3 cm and 5 cm was similar in both ileal (p=0.33) and jejunal segments (p=0.41) but was significantly lower than the proximal 8 cm segments (p≪0.05).The distribution of ICCs in the proximal segment at 8 cm was similar to the distal segments (p≪0.05). S-100 staining showed dense expression of neurons and glial cells with presence of submucosal giant ganglia within the proximal dilated segments as compared to the distal segments and the controls, which were more marked at 3 cm and 5 cm levels than at 8 cm level.

Conclusion: Muscle morphometry using image analysis is a simple technique to assess the thickness of the intestinal smooth muscle layers. There is significant smooth muscle hypertrophy along with marked alteration in density and distribution of ICCs and ENS in the dilated proximal segments up to 5 cm, and relatively milder changes at 8 cm levels, as compared to the distal segments and the controls.

Type of study: Prognosis study.

Level of evidence: Level II.

Keywords: Immunohistochemistry; Interstitial cells of Cajal; Jejuno-ileal atresia; Muscle morphometry.

Publication types

  • Observational Study

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Ileum* / cytology
  • Ileum* / pathology
  • Ileum* / physiopathology
  • Ileum* / surgery
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Interstitial Cells of Cajal / cytology*
  • Intestinal Atresia* / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Atresia* / pathology
  • Intestinal Atresia* / physiopathology
  • Intestinal Atresia* / surgery
  • Intestine, Small / abnormalities*
  • Intestine, Small / pathology
  • Intestine, Small / physiopathology
  • Intestine, Small / surgery
  • Jejunum* / cytology
  • Jejunum* / pathology
  • Jejunum* / physiopathology
  • Jejunum* / surgery
  • Laparotomy
  • Muscle, Smooth* / pathology
  • Muscle, Smooth* / physiopathology

Supplementary concepts

  • Atresia of small intestine