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Megacolon
June 2002

Q. My 10-year-old son has been having severe abdominal pain for 3 months. I have taken him to the doctor and the emergency room countless times. His pediatrician now has referred us to a pediatric gastroenterologist and thinks my son has a condition called mega colon. Can you explain to me what this is and how it is treated?

A. Megacolon refers to an abnormal dilatation of the large intestine. It can be a congenital condition caused by a lack of nerve supply to the colon, or can occur as a complication of one of several inflammatory bowel conditions such as ulcerative colitis. It can cause recurrent abdominal pain and fever and can become an emergency situation. X-rays of the abdomen will show a largely dilated colon during an attack. A gastroenterologist is the medical specialist who will likely be involved to direct the diagnostic tests that will be needed. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause for the condition.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000248.htm

http://www.icondata.com/health/pedbase/files/HIRSCHSP.HTM

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