Hypoganglionosis in pregnancy: a case report
Maternidade Dr. Alfredo da Costa, Rua do Viriato, Lisbon, 1069-089, Portugal
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2012, 6:297 doi:10.1186/1752-1947-6-297Published: 13 September 2012
We report a very rare case of isolated hypoganglionosis first diagnosed during early pregnancy, which should be discussed from an obstetric and a gastroenterological point of view.
A pregnant 18-year-old Caucasian woman presented at twelve weeks of gestation with lower abdominal pain, mild constipation and a large abdominal mass. Abdominal and pelvic magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a megarectum and megasigmoid, and our patient was managed with medical therapy during her pregnancy, which occurred without major incidents. At the onset of labor, a fecaloma obstructing the pelvic outlet was detected, which required manual disimpaction. However, during the procedure a sudden continuous fetal bradycardia was detected. An emergency Cesarean section was performed but the fetus suffered hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. One year after the delivery, our patient underwent a sigmoid resection. A histopathological analysis revealed a reduction of nerve cells in the myenteric and submucous plexus, suggesting hypoganglionosis.
Although there are some reports of pregnancies complicated by megacolon, they are too few and too old to delineate guidelines for clinical orientation. In our article, we discuss several issues regarding the management of these rare intestinal innervation disorders during pregnancy that we believe will enhance their obstetric and gastroenterological management during pregnancy.