Recurrent intestinal occlusion / sub-occlusion in the neonatal period: intestinal dysplasia or imaturity?


  • Nádia Guimarães Pediatric Service, Child and Adolescence Department of Centro Hospitalar do Porto
  • Angélica Osório Pediatric Surgery Service of Hospital de Braga
  • Carlos Enes Pediatric Surgery Service, Child and Adolescence Department of Centro Hospitalar do Porto
  • Paula Rocha Serviço de Cuidados Intensivos Pediátricos, Departamento da Infância e da Adolescência, Centro Hospitalar do Porto
  • Alzira Sarmento Pediatric Intensive Care Service, Child and Adolescence Department of Centro Hospitalar do Porto
  • Helena Mansilha Pediatric Service, Child and Adolescence Department of Centro Hospitalar do Porto



intestinal neuronal dysplasia, intestinal obstruction, prematurity


Introduction: Changes in intestinal motility may be due to primary or secondary causes, the most serious clinical manifestation is intestinal pseudo-obstruction. However, in the neonatal period this may be due to abnormalities of intestinal innervation and / or varying degrees of immaturity of ganglion cells.

Clinical Case: A preterm infant 26 weeks of gestation presented, at the 43rd day of life a clinical picture suggestive of necrotizing enterocolitis type IIA, which was not confirmed. In the following months she presented with successive subocclusive and occlusive intestinal episodes, ending in ileostomy. The anatomopathological examination revealed some myenteric and submucosal plexus (with increase in the number of ganglion cells) and some larger nodes than usual. The subsequent clinical course was favorable with good weight gain requiring, however, transient artificial nutritional support; reconstitution of intestinal transit occurred after 21 months.

Discussion/Conclusions: The authors present this case of intestinal neuronal dysplasia emphasizing the favorable prognosis associated with intestinal growth and maturity with age.


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How to Cite

Guimarães N, Osório A, Enes C, Rocha P, Sarmento A, Mansilha H. Recurrent intestinal occlusion / sub-occlusion in the neonatal period: intestinal dysplasia or imaturity?. REVNEC [Internet]. 2015Sep.15 [cited 2022Dec.5];24(3):124-8. Available from:



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