Meckel's diverticulum (MD) has varied clinical manifestations and is a diagnostic challenge for pediatricians. This study investigates the clinical and diagnostic characteristics of MD in children with different presentations. We retrospectively reviewed the medical records of pediatric patients diagnosed with MD from 1988 to 2008. The data including the age, sex, clinical features, laboratory data, sensitivity of diagnostic methods, and pathological finding were recorded. These patients were classified into three groups: diverticulitis, intestinal obstruction, and intestinal bleeding. A total of 47 children (35 boys and 12 girls) with a median age of 5.6 years were enrolled and categorized as follows: diverticulitis (n=12), obstruction (n=12), bleeding (n=21), and two diagnosed incidentally. Patients with intestinal obstruction were significantly younger than those with bleeding (3.7, 95% CI, 1.6-5.7 vs. 6.6, 95% CI, 4.5-8.7, P=0.04). In the obstruction group, intussusception was found in eight of 12 patients, of whom 62.5% were aged older than 3 years. Heterotopic tissues were found in 46.3% of surgical specimens and more frequently existed in patients with bleeding than those with diverticulitis (P=0.02) and obstruction (P=0.047). Tc-99m scans yielded a diagnostic sensitivity of about 65% in bleeding patients. Repeated Tc-99m scans and red blood cell (RBC) scans can be good supplementary tools in Tc-99m scan-negative bleeding patients. In conclusion, manifestations of childhood MD are variable and may depend on the presence of heterotopic tissues and the patients' age. Tc-99m scans supplemented with RBC scans are appropriate to diagnose childhood MD with bleeding.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health