- Hirschsprung's disease
- Hirsch·sprung's disease 'hirsh-.pru̇ŋz- n megacolon that is caused by congenital absence of ganglion cells in the muscular wall of the distal part of the colon with resulting loss of peristaltic function in this part and dilatation of the colon proximal to the aganglionic part called also congenital megacolonHirschsprung Harold (1830-1916)Danish pediatrician. Hirschsprung published a number of important papers on children's diseases, describing such conditions as pyloric stenosis, intussusception, and rickets. As chief physician at a children's hospital in Copenhagen, he noted certain cases of constipation in infants due to enlargement of the colon. He published his description of congenital megacolon in 1888.
* * *a congenital condition in which the rectum and sometimes part of the lower colon have failed to develop a normal nerve network. The affected portion does not expand or conduct the contents of the bowel, which accumulate in and distend the upper colon. Symptoms, which are usually apparent in the first weeks of life, are abdominal pain and swelling and severe or complete constipation. Diagnosis is by X-ray and by microscopic examination of samples of the bowel wall, which shows the absence of nerve cells. Treatment is by surgery to remove the affected segment and join the remaining (normal) colon to the anus. See also megacolon.H. Hirschsprung (1830-1916), Danish physician
Medical dictionary. 2011.