Hirschsprung's (HIRSH-sproongz) disease is a condition that affects the large intestine (colon) and causes problems with passing stool. The condition is present at birth (congenital) as a result of missing nerve cells in the muscles of the baby's colon.
A newborn who has Hirschsprung's disease usually can't have a bowel movement in the days after birth. In mild cases, the condition might not be detected until later in childhood. Uncommonly, Hirschsprung's disease is first diagnosed in adults.
Surgery to bypass or remove the diseased part of the colon is the treatment.
July 12, 2016
- What I need to know about Hischsprung disease. National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/hirschsprungs_ez/. Accessed Jan. 6, 2016.
- Wesson, DE. Congenital aganglionic megacolon (Hirschsprung disease). http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed Jan. 6, 2016.
- Tjaden NEB, et al. The developmental etiology and pathogenesis of Hirschsprung disease. Translational Research. 2013;162:1.