Hirschsprung's Disease: Evaluation of Mortality and Long-term Function in 260 Cases

Frederick J. Rescorla, Albert M. Morrison, Drew Engles, Karen W. West, Jay L. Grosfeld

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174 Scopus citations


This report describes 260 patients treated for Hirschsprung's disease. There were 213 boys (82%) and 47 girls (18%). Age at diagnosis was younger than 30 days in 106 patients (41%), 1 month to 1 year in 90 patients (35%), and older than 1 year in 64 patients (25%). Diagnosis was achieved with barium enema and rectal biopsy. Aganglionosis involved the rectum or rectosigmoid in 174 patients (67%), the left colon in 38 patients (15%), and the proximal colon in 23 patients (9%); 25 patients (9%) had total colonic aganglionosis. Enterocolitis occurred in 47 cases (18%). Following an initial colostomy or ileostomy, a definitive pull-through procedure was performed in 247 patients (95%) (modified Duhamel in 185, Soave in25, Swenson procedure in 15, and anomyectomy/sphincterotomy in 22); the overall survival rate was 93.8% (244 of 260 patients). An increased mortality was associated with Down syndrome, total colonic aganglionosis, and enterocolitis. Long-term follow-up (mean, 6 years 10 months) was available in 103 patients who underwent a Duhamel procedure. Sixty-seven (65%) had normal bowel function, 28 (27%) occasionally used enemas or stool softeners, and eight (8%) had severe constipation or soiling. Bowel habits improved with time and were considered normal in 58% of patients at less than 5 years of follow-up and in 88% of patients at more than 15 years of follow-up. The Duhamel operation is a very effective definitive procedure for Hirschsprung's disease. Long-term follow- up is an important component of patient care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)934-942
Number of pages9
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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