meconium plug syndrome

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meconium plug syndrome

obstruction of the large intestine in the newborn caused by thick, rubbery meconium that may fill the entire colon and part of the terminal ileum. Symptoms include failure to pass meconium within the first 24 to 48 hours after birth, abdominal distension, and vomiting if complete intestinal blockage occurs. A barium enema indicates the presence of a plug and in most cases dislodges it from the bowel wall. Subsequent gentle saline solution enemas may be needed to expel it. The condition may be an indication of Hirschsprung's disease or cystic fibrosis. See also meconium ileus.

meconium ileus

A condition characterised by obstruction of the neonatal intestine by meconium that may be confined to the ileus, a finding characteristic of cystic fibrosis.
Clinical findings
Non-passage of stool in the first two days of life, vomiting, abdominal distension.

Volvulus, intestinal infarction.
Meconium “plugging” of the rectum may also signal the presence of Hirschsprung’s disease, which is histologically characterised by segmental aganglionosis.
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Meconium plug syndrome is a diagnosis of exclusion but is the mildest and most common cause of bowel obstruction in the newborn.