Gastrointestinal Emergency in Neonates and Infants: A Pictorial Essay

Korean J Radiol. 2022 Jan;23(1):124-138. doi: 10.3348/kjr.2021.0111.


Gastrointestinal (GI) emergencies in neonates and infants encompass from the beginning to the end of the GI tract. Both congenital and acquired conditions can cause various GI emergencies in neonates and infants. Given the overlapping or nonspecific clinical findings of many different neonatal and infantile GI emergencies and the unique characteristics of this age group, appropriate imaging is key to accurate and timely diagnosis while avoiding unnecessary radiation hazard and medical costs. In this paper, we discuss the radiological findings of essential neonatal and infantile GI emergencies, including esophageal atresia and tracheoesophageal fistula, hypertrophic pyloric stenosis, duodenal atresia, malrotation, midgut volvulus for upper GI emergencies, and jejunoileal atresia, meconium ileus, meconium plug syndrome, meconium peritonitis, Hirschsprung disease, anorectal malformation, necrotizing enterocolitis, and intussusception for lower GI emergencies.

Keywords: Anorectal malformation; Gastrointestinal emergency; Hirschsprung disease; Imaging; Infant; Intestinal atresia; Intussusception; Meconium plug syndrome; Midgut volvulus; Necrotizing enterocolitis; Neonate; Tracheoesophageal fistula.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Duodenal Obstruction*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestinal Atresia*
  • Intussusception*