Small intestine & ampulla

Congenital anomalies

Meconium peritonitis

Topic Completed: 1 August 2012

Minor changes: 18 November 2020

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: Meconium peritonitis[TI] small bowel

Hanni Gulwani, M.B.B.S.
Page views in 2020: 1,134
Page views in 2021 to date: 1,023
Cite this page: Gulwani H. Meconium peritonitis. website. Accessed December 8th, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Rare prenatal complication in 1 per 30,000 live births
  • GI perforation releases meconium into abdominal cavity, inducing sterile inflammatory reaction and calcium deposition
  • Perforation may be due to anoxia leading to bowel ischemia, atresia, congenital bands, Hirschprung disease, internal hernia, meconium ileus, stenosis, volvulus or idiopathic
  • Presents with fetal distress, maternal polyhydramnios, abdominal distention or a mass
  • Newborns with perforation should be evaluated for cystic fibrosis (Pediatr Surg Int 2003;19:75)
Radiology description
Case reports
Gross description
  • Organized peritonitis with fibrosis, calcifications, dense intestinal adhesions
  • Meconium pseudocyst (fibrous wall) may form
Gross images

Case #106

Abdominal cavity

Small intestine

Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Peritoneal surface shows fibrinous exudate with microcalcifications, bile pigment-like debris, histiocytes, chronic inflammatory cells
Microscopic (histologic) images

Case #106

Peritoneal surface

Differential diagnosis
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