Plasticity of the enteric nervous system in patients with intestinal neuronal dysplasia associated with Hirschsprung's disease: a report of three patients

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Abstract

Intestinal neuronal dysplasia is a controversial form of dysganglionosis that has been described both as an isolated disorder and in association with Hirschsprung's disease. It has been blamed for the bad outcome of bowel function in patients operated on for Hirschsprung's disease. According to various authors, intestinal neuronal dysplasia could be a primary disorder or secondary to other diseases of the bowel. The aim of this study was to assess the plasticity of the enteric nervous system in patients with Hirschsprung's disease-associated intestinal neuronal dysplasia and its ability to evolve spontaneously to normal innervation patterns. Since we prospectively introduced the assessment of the enteric nervous system of the ganglionated bowel in patients operated on for Hirschsprung's disease, 31 patients have been operated on for Hirschsprung's disease in our institution between 1995 and 2002. Among these patients, nine suffered postoperatively from severe constipation and five from bouts of entocolitis. IND was found in eight of them. We studied the evolution of the innervation in three of these patients by repeated serial full-thickness biopsies of the colon. All three patients underwent a colostomy before or after the pull-through procedure. Histopathological assessment of the enteric nervous system was made with conventional acetylcholinesterase histochemistry, rapid acetylcholinesterase histochemistry and immunohistochemistry for the Protein Gene Product 9.5 and the antigen CD56. This evolution was compared with the clinical outcome of bowel function. In our three patients with Hirschsprung's disease-associated intestinal neuronal dysplasia, this form of dysganglionosis evolved to normal innervation patterns within a period ranging from 9 to 18 months. This evolution was accompanied by an improvement of bowel function in all. We conclude that Hirschsprung's disease-associated intestinal neuronal dysplasia can evolve to a normal innervation, at least under certain circumstances such as a colostomy. Specific histopathological techniques are required to assess accurately the enteric nervous system.

Details

Authors
  • B J Meyrat
  • Ricardo Laurini
Organisations
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)715
JournalPediatric Surgery International
Volume19
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes