Intestinal Atresias: A Ten-Year Evaluation of Outcomes

J Surg Res. 2024 Apr:296:130-134. doi: 10.1016/j.jss.2023.12.015. Epub 2024 Jan 25.


Introduction: Intestinal atresia is a common cause of neonatal bowel obstruction. Atresias are often associated with other congenital anomalies. The purpose of the study was to evaluate associated anomalies, operative management, and postoperative outcomes of infants with intestinal atresia.

Methods: A review of patients presenting to a single free-standing children's hospital from March 2012 through February 2022 was performed. The variables examined were type of atresia, additional congenital anomalies, type of operative intervention, and postoperative outcomes. Standard statistical methods were utilized.

Results: A total of 75 patients with intestinal atresia were identified and several of these patients had multiple atresias. Isolated duodenal atresia patients were the most common (49.3%), followed by jejunal (32%) and ileal (12%). Mixed atresias were rare at 4%, with isolated pyloric and colonic also rare at 1.3% each. Malrotation was associated with 13% of patients and equally associated with duodenal and jejunoileal atresias. A low percentage (3%) of intestinal atresias was seen in conjunction with gastroschisis and concomitant malrotation. A majority of infants with duodenal atresia underwent standard duodenoduodenostomy (19% laparoscopic, 81% open). In infants with jejunoileal atresia, most underwent resection with primary anastomosis. A tapering enteroplasty was performed primarily in 13% of atresias. There were no significant differences noted in time to first feed or length of stay between those with and without tapering enteroplasty. Eleven percent of patients required subsequent intervention for stricture or small bowel obstruction. There was one death in this series.

Conclusions: Consistent with other literature, duodenal atresia was the most common type of intestinal atresia. However, we demonstrated that malrotation was equally associated with duodenal and jejunoileal atresias while prior reports had shown a higher association with duodenal atresia. In our patient population, the use of tapering enteroplasty did not appear to be associated with outcomes. Overall, these infants have a low morbidity and mortality rate with a rare need for reoperation.

Keywords: Atresia; Malrotation; Neonatal bowel obstruction.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Duodenal Obstruction* / complications
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestinal Atresia* / complications
  • Intestinal Atresia* / surgery
  • Intestine, Small
  • Jejunum / surgery
  • Retrospective Studies

Supplementary concepts

  • Familial duodenal atresia