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- An intestinal blockage caused by Hirschsprung’s disease
- Bacterial or viral infection—Because of Hirschsprung’s disease, bacteria may grow more quickly in the intestines.
- Other changes in the intestines caused by Hirschsprung’s disease
- Undiagnosed Hirschsprung’s disease—It is usually diagnosed in infancy. But it may not be diagnosed until your child is older.
- Pull-through surgery—This is surgery to treat Hirschsprung’s disease. The unhealthy area of the colon is removed. Then, the healthy colon is joined to the rectum.
- Down syndrome —HAEC occurs in nearly half of Down syndrome patients who have Hirschsprung’s disease.
- Long section of colon affected by Hirschsprung's disease—The risk of HAEC is greater when long sections of the colon are affected.
- Bloated abdomen
- Severe diarrhea
- Poor feeding
- Rectal bleeding
- For serious cases, rectal irrigation and IV antibiotics are used. For rectal irrigation, a catheter will be gently pushed into the colon. Salt water will be pushed in through the catheter. It will slowly drain out. This allows gas and feces to come out of the rectum. Rarely, surgery is required to treat HAEC.
- For mild cases, the doctor may use oral antibiotics and rectal irrigation.
American Academy of Pediatrics http://www.healthychildren.org
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders http://www.iffgd.org
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology http://www.cag-acg.org
Canadian Paediatric Society http://www.cps.ca
Hirschsprung’s Disease. About Kids GI website. Available at: http://www.aboutkidsgi.org/site/about-gi-health-in-kids/functional-gi-and-motility-disorders/hirschsprungs-disease. Updated October 28, 2014. Updated October 30, 2014.
Kessmann J. Hirschsprung’s disease: diagnosis and management. Am Fam Physician. 2006 Oct 15;74(8):1319-1322.
- Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
- Review Date: 10/2014
- Update Date: 01/15/2014