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Colon Atresia

Case Detail

Anatomy: Gastrointestinal
Joseph Junewick, MD FACR
Diagnostic Category: Developmental or Congenital
Created: over 9 years ago
Updated: over 9 years ago
Tags: PEDS
Modality/Study Types: FL
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Newborn with abdominal distention.

Case Images


Colonic Atresia

Clinical Notes

Surgery – Complete atresia of the distal transverse colon with dilated distal small bowel at laparotomy.


FL – Preliminary image shows markedly distended loop of bowel in the upper abdomen. Micro-colon with abrupt cessation of retrograde flow of contrast in the left upper quadrant on water-soluble enema.


The incidence of intestinal atresia is between 1/1,500 to 1/20,000 newborn infants; atresias of the colon account for less than 15% of these. Colonic atresias are difficult to differentiate from distal small bowel atresias radiographically. Colonic atresias are likely related to “vascular insufficiency,” and are equally distributed proximal and distal to the splenic flexure. Three types of atresias are seen: Type I – complete occlusion separated by aa diaphragm, Type II – two blind ending loops connected by fibrous cord, and Type III – two blind ending loops with asscociated mesenteric defect and no intervening cord. Type II and III are more common in the right colon and Type I is more common in the left colon.


Harbour MJ, Altman DH, Gilbert M. Congenital Atresia of the Colon. Radiology (1965); 84: 19-23.


James DeCou, MD

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