Mineral oil embolization and lipid pneumonia in an infant treated for Hirschsprung's disease

Pediatr Pathol. 1987;7(4):447-55. doi: 10.3109/15513818709161406.


A 5-month-old infant girl with Hirschsprung's disease died 1 month after colostomy as a result of mineral oil embolism and lipid pneumonia. She had received multiple mineral oil enemas and irrigations as treatment for impacted stools. Mineral oil peritonitis was present on the surface of the bowel adjacent to the stoma and covered large portions of the surface of the liver and spleen. There was 600 cc of slightly cloudy and bloody peritoneal fluid. The peritoneal exudate contained bacteria that were associated with only a minimal inflammatory reaction. This case calls attention to a previously unreported complication of the use of mineral oil.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Autopsy
  • Embolism, Fat / etiology*
  • Enema / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Hirschsprung Disease / complications*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lung / pathology
  • Mineral Oil / adverse effects*
  • Peritonitis / etiology
  • Pneumonia, Aspiration / etiology*
  • Pneumonia, Lipid / etiology*
  • Pneumonia, Lipid / pathology


  • Mineral Oil