Hirschsprung’s disease (HD) is characterized by aganglionosis in the bowel wall, requiring resection. Ultra-high frequency ultrasound (UHFUS) imaging of the bowel wall has been suggested to be an instantaneous method of deciding resection length. The aim of this study was to validate UHFUS imaging of the bowel wall in children with HD by exploring the correlation and systematic differences between UHFUS and histopathology. Resected fresh bowel specimens of children 0–1 years old, operated on for rectosigmoid aganglionosis at a national HD center 2018–2021, were examined ex vivo with UHFUS center frequency 50 MHz. Aganglionosis and ganglionosis were confirmed by histopathological staining and immunohistochemistry. Histoanatomical layers of bowel wall in histopathological and UHFUS images, respectively, were outlined using MATLAB programs. Both histopathological and UHFUS images were available for 19 aganglionic and 18 ganglionic specimens. The thickness of muscularis interna correlated positively between histopathology and UHFUS in both aganglionosis (R = 0.651, p = 0.003) and ganglionosis (R = 0.534, p = 0.023). The muscularis interna was systematically thicker in histopathology than in UHFUS images in both aganglionosis (0.499 vs. 0.309 mm; p < 0.001) and ganglionosis (0.644 versus 0.556 mm; p = 0.003). Significant correlations and systematic differences between histopathological and UHFUS images support the hypothesis that UHFUS reproduces the histoanatomy of the bowel wall in HD accurately.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1388
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2023 Apr

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Pediatrics
  • Radiology, Nuclear Medicine and Medical Imaging

Free keywords

  • bowel wall
  • children
  • Hirschsprung’s disease
  • histopathology
  • ultra-high frequency ultrasound


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