Controversies concerning diagnostic guidelines for anomalies of the enteric nervous system: A report from the fourth International Symposium on Hirschsprung's disease and related neurocristopathies

Giuseppe Martucciello, Alessio Pini Prato, Prem Puri, Alexander M. Holschneider, William Meier-Ruge, Vincenzo Jasonni, Juan A. Tovar, Jay L. Grosfeld

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Intestinal Dysganglionoses (IDs) represent a heterogeneous group of Enteric Nervous System anomalies including Hirschsprung's disease (HD), Intestinal Neuronal Dysplasia (IND), Internal Anal Sphincter Neurogenic Achalasia (IASNA) and Hypoganglionosis. At present HD is the only recognised clinico-pathological entity, whereas the others are not yet worldwide accepted and diagnosed. This report describes the areas of agreement and disagreement regarding definition, diagnosis, and management of IDs as discussed at the workshop of the fourth International Meeting on "Hirschsprung's disease and related neurochristopathies." The gold standards in the preoperative diagnosis of IDs are described, enlighting the importance of rectal suction biopsy in the diagnostic workup. The most important diagnostic features of HD are the combination of hypertrophic nerve trunks and aganglionosis in adequate specimens. Acetylcholinesterase staining is the best diagnostic technique to demonstrate hypertrophic nerve trunks in lamina propia mucosae, but many pathologist from different centers still use H&E staining effectively. Moreover, the importance of an adequate intraoperative pathological evaluation of the extent of IDs to avoid postoperative complications is stressed. Although it is not clear whether IND is a separate entity or some sort of secondary acquired condition, it is concluded that both IND and IASNA do exist. Other interesting conclusions are provided as well as detailed results of the discussion. Further investigation is needed to resolve the many controversies concerning IDs. The fourth International Conference in Sestri Levante stimulated discussion regarding these entities and led to the International guidelines to serve the best interest of our patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1527-1531
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Pediatric Surgery
Volume40
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005

Keywords

  • Agangglionosis
  • ENS
  • Enteric nervous system
  • Hirschsprung's disease
  • Intestinal neuronal dysplasia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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