Omphalomesenteric Duct Anomalies in Children: A Multimodality Overview

Radiographics. 2021 Nov-Dec;41(7):2090-2110. doi: 10.1148/rg.2021210048.


The omphalomesenteric duct is an embryologic structure that connects the yolk sac with the primitive midgut of the developing fetus. Omphalomesenteric duct anomalies include a group of entities that result from failed resorption of the omphalomesenteric duct. These anomalies include Meckel diverticulum, omphalomesenteric fistula, fibrous bands, cysts, and umbilical polyps. Meckel diverticulum is the most common congenital anomaly of the gastrointestinal tract and is usually asymptomatic. Symptoms develop when Meckel diverticulum involves complications such as hemorrhage, inflammation, and perforation, or when it causes intussusception or bowel obstruction. Hemorrhage is the most common complication of Meckel diverticulum, and technetium 99m-pertechnetate scintigraphy is the imaging modality of choice for detecting acute bleeding. US and CT are commonly used for the evaluation of patients with other complications such as obstruction and inflammation. Nevertheless, the diagnosis of these complications can be challenging, as their clinical manifestations are usually nonspecific and can masquerade as other acute intraabdominal entities such as appendicitis, inflammatory bowel disease, or other causes of bowel obstruction. There are other umbilical disorders, such as urachal remnants and umbilical granuloma, that may present with symptoms and imaging findings similar to those of omphalomesenteric duct anomalies. An accurate preoperative diagnosis of omphalomesenteric duct anomaly is crucial for appropriate management and a better outcome, particularly when these anomalies manifest as a life-threatening condition. The authors review the anatomy, clinical features, and complications of omphalomesenteric duct anomalies in children, describing the relevant differential diagnoses and associated imaging findings seen with different imaging modalities. ©RSNA, 2021.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Obstruction*
  • Meckel Diverticulum* / diagnostic imaging
  • Multimodal Imaging
  • Umbilicus
  • Vitelline Duct* / diagnostic imaging