The influence of Down's syndrome on the management and outcome of children with Hirschsprung's disease

David J. Hackam, Kim Reblock, Edward M. Barksdale, Richard Redlinger, James Lynch, Barbara A. Gaines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Background: Children with Down's syndrome (DS) have a reportedly poorer outcome after treatment of Hirschsprung's disease (HD) compared with control children. Because of overall improvements in their management, the authors hypothesized that the diagnosis of DS would not influence outcome after the management of HD. Methods: Consecutive children with HD (1995 through 2002) were collected prospectively then divided retrospectively into those with DS and controls (C). Patients who underwent surgery at another institution and those with total colonic aganglionosis were excluded. Results: Of 66 patients, 9 had DS. Mean age at diagnosis, gender, racial distribution, gestational age, and proximity to our center were similar between groups. Presenting symptoms, location of the transition zone, and type of initial operation were similar. Patients with DS had significantly more comorbidities than controls, which generated significantly greater treatment costs and a higher mortality rate. However, with an average of 22 months of follow-up, the overall outcome including postoperative complications, enterocolitis, and constipation was similar. Conclusions: These data suggest that in contrast to earlier reports, DS has minimal influence on surgical outcome of patients with HD. Although the overall cost of treating patients with DS is greater, this mainly reflects the impact of managing comorbidities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)946-949
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of pediatric surgery
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Constipation
  • Endorectal pull-through
  • Hirschprung's disease; aganglionosis
  • Trisomy 21

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'The influence of Down's syndrome on the management and outcome of children with Hirschsprung's disease'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this