Aug 28, 2006

Duodenal Atresia

Duodenal atresia is a condition in which the duodenum (the first part of the small bowel) has not developed properly. It is not open and cannot allow the passage of stomach contents. The cause of duodenal atresia is unknown, but it is thought to result from problems during the developmental stage in which the embryo's duodenum normally changes from solid to tube-like (recanalization).

Duodenal atresia is present in more than 1 in 3400 live births. Approximately 20-30% of infants with duodenal atresia have Downs syndrome. Duodenal atresia is often associated with other congenital abnormalities.

Symptoms are upper abdominal disension & bilious vomitings which is Continuous even when infant has not been fed for several hours in neonates.This condition may be suggested by fetal ultrasound showing polyhydramnios (excessive amounts of amniotic fluid in the uterus) or distension of the stomach and part of the duodenum.A plain abdominal x-ray may show air in the stomach and first part of duodenum, with no air beyond that classically called as double – bubble sign. An abdominal x-ray with contrast may be helpful

Treatment involves nasogastric tube for gastric decompression, correction of fluid and electrolyte abnormalities and surgical correction with either a duodenoduodenostomy or duodenojejunostomy