oa Central African Journal of Medicine - Meconium peritonitis with intestinal obstruction

Volume 33, Issue 9
  • ISSN : 0008-9176



The case history is presented of a one-day-old Black Zimbabwean baby with a diagnosis of meconium peritonitis due to a perforation in the terminal ileum possibly caused by a meconium plug. Surgical management has been successful. The baby is alive, enjoying normal growth, and without symptoms of gastrointestinal or respiratory dysfunction. Meconium peritonitis as a sequel to intestinal perforation in utero is an inflammatory process in the peritoneal cavity of the newborn. This rare condition carries a high mortality rate. By 1956 well over 100 cases had been reported but there were only 18 survivors. The most common cause of meconium peritonitis is meconium ileus concomitant to mucovscidosis (cystic fibrosis). Other causes include intestinal atresia, extrinsic obstruction and meconium plugs.

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