Delayed maturation of the interstitial cells of Cajal: a new diagnosis for transient neonatal pseudoobstruction. Report of two cases

J Pediatr Surg. 1998 Jan;33(1):94-8. doi: 10.1016/s0022-3468(98)90370-0.


The case histories of two neonates presenting with intestinal pseudoobstruction are presented. One boy infant was premature and the girl infant was full term. Both patients needed a defunctioning ileostomy, and biopsy findings of the intestine in both patients showed a lack of interstitial cells of Cajal (ICC). At the time of closure of the ileostomies to restore intestinal continuity, repeat biopsy results showed a normal pattern of distribution of ICC. Delay in the development of ICC in the gastrointestinal tract may be a cause of intestinal pseudoobstruction in the newborn.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Colon / pathology*
  • Female
  • Gastrointestinal Motility / physiology
  • Humans
  • Ileostomy
  • Ileum / pathology*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction / diagnosis
  • Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction / etiology*
  • Intestinal Pseudo-Obstruction / therapy
  • Male
  • Muscle, Smooth / pathology*
  • Parenteral Nutrition, Total
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit / metabolism
  • Stem Cell Factor / metabolism


  • Stem Cell Factor
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-kit