A colon or a question mark? Doctors release fascinating images

A colon or a question mark? Doctors give a fascinating picture of the unusually shaped colon of a baby

  • Doctors were worried when he could not withstand bowel movements 24 hours after birth
  • Scans showed a & # 39; shortened colon that was in the shape of a question mark & ​​# 39; popped up
  • Doctors published the image in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine

It may seem like a question mark – but it isn't.

It is actually a medical scan of the unique colon of a newborn baby.

Doctors were worried when the boy vomited, was unable to get feces and had a swollen stomach 24 hours after birth.

Scans showed a & # 39; short colon that appeared in the form of a question mark & ​​# 39 ;, a doctor wrote in a prestigious medical journal.


It may seem like a question mark - but it isn't. It is actually a medical scan of the unique colon of a newborn baby

It may seem like a question mark – but it isn't. It is actually a medical scan of the unique colon of a newborn baby

They suspected that the child had total colon agaglionosis, a complete lack of nerve cells, called ganglion, that are crucial for digestion.

Further tests confirmed that the boy, who was not identified, had no ganglion cells and that Hirchsprung's disease was diagnosed.

When these nerves are missing, faeces can accumulate and form a blockage. This can cause constipation, according to the NHS.

The diagnosis was also confirmed by scans that showed he had thickened nerve fibers – a characteristic sign of Hirchsprung & # 39; s.


The South Carolina Medical University states that the colon – or colon – has been formed somewhat like a big question mark.


The organ starts at the right hip, goes up to the ribs, goes over the body and then to the left hip. It then bends to the anus.

For this unnamed baby, however, his colon did not rise from his right hip and directly opposite him. Instead it went to his left ribs.

Doctors who treated him diagnosed him with Hirchsprung's disease, according to one of the five thousand babies.

Question mark colons, as they are known, are linked to various cases of the disorder. However, it is unclear why the condition causes the uniquely shaped colon.

& # 39; Hirschsprung's disease lacks the nerves that control this movement in a section at the end of the gut, meaning that poo can build up and form a blockage & # 39 ;, says the NHS.


Hirschsprung's disease affects one in 5000 babies. The condition is usually picked up soon after birth, says the NHS.

Surgeons operating on the baby took samples from his entire colon, confirming once again that he was missing his ganglion cells.

However, they appeared & # 39; plentiful & # 39; to be in its terminal ileum, the tip of the small intestine that connects to its larger counterpart.

Writing in the New England Journal of Medicine, doctors revealed that the boy was undergoing a procedure called an endileostomy.

It includes removing part or all of the colon, as well as bringing the small intestine closer to the surface so that a stoma can be formed.


Six months later the boy underwent a colectomy to remove the remaining part of his colon.

The surgery also joined the remaining part of his rectum, the last part of the large intestine, with his ileum, so that he no longer had a large intestine.

The report is written by Dr. Peter Masiakos, from the Massachusetts General Hospital, and Dr. Paul Wales, from the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto.

However, it was not stated where the baby, born after 39 weeks to a 28-year-old mother, came from.

When the boy went for a checkup, it was revealed that he could stand his feces and doctors said he was growing well.


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