How is intestinal inflammation treated in pediatric omphalocele and gastroschisis (abdominal wall defects)?

Updated: Nov 05, 2019
  • Author: James G Glasser, MD, MA, FACS; Chief Editor: Dharmendra J Nimavat, MD, FAAP  more...
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Intestinal inflammation may occur in the setting of gastroschisis or ruptured omphaloceles.

The intestines may be pristine, as in a fresh laparotomy, or they may be stiff and edematous, matted together, and covered by an inflammatory “peel.” Appearance predicts function: In the first setting, infants tolerate feedings promptly, whereas injury from amniotic fluid exposure or ischemia is associated with intestinal dysmotility and malabsorption. Histologic evaluation shows atrophy of myenteric ganglion cells and mucosa. The injury usually heals as the baby grows, as long as adequate parenteral nutrition is provided.

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