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01.12.2018 | Case report | Ausgabe 1/2018 Open Access

BMC Pediatrics 1/2018

Meconium peritonitis due to fetal appendiceal perforation: two case reports and a brief review of the literature

BMC Pediatrics > Ausgabe 1/2018
Yi Wang, Yeming Wu, Wenbin Guan, Wenbo Yan, Yuhua Li, Jin Fang, Jun Wang



Meconium peritonitis is an infrequent congenital disease usually caused by perforation of the fetal digestive tract. Meconium peritonitis resulting from intrauterine appendiceal perforation has been rarely reported and is often overlooked during pregnancy. We herein report two cases of fetal appendiceal perforation.

Case presentation

Two neonates were found to have intestinal distension and gradually increasing ascites antenatally. After birth, diagnostic abdominal punctures revealed meconium peritonitis. Urgent surgery showed both neonates had developed gangrenous appendicitis in utero. Pathological examination supported the diagnosis of fetal appendiceal perforation in both neonates, and one also had deformity of cecal duplication. In the present report, we also review the presentation, diagnosis, pathology, management, and recent literature of fetal appendiceal perforation.


Meconium peritonitis due to fetal appendiceal perforation is extremely rare, and preoperative diagnosis is almost impossible. However, clinicians should be aware of abnormal gastrointestinal manifestations in the fetus during the antenatal examination. For neonates with severe meconium peritonitis, an early operation with careful intraoperative exploration is necessary.
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