European Paediatric Surgeons' Association Survey on the Management of Hirschsprung Disease

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Aim  This study aims to define patterns of Hirschsprung disease (HD) management.Methods An online questionnaire was sent to all European Paediatric Surgeons' Association (EUPSA) members.Results A total of 294 members (61 countries) answered (response rate: 61%).

DIAGNOSIS: All respondents perform rectal biopsies (61% rectal suction [RSBs], 39% open full-thickness), 96% contrast enema, and 31% anorectal manometry. At RSB, 17% take the most distal biopsy 1 cm above the dentate line, 34% take 2 cm, 30% take 3 cm, and 19% take > 3 cm. Rectal biopsy staining's are hematoxylin/eosin (77%), acetylcholinesterase (74%), calretinin (31%), S100 (2%), nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide-tetrazolium reductase (2%), succinate dehydrogenase (1%), and neuron-specific enolase (1%). A total of 85% respondents recognize entities including hypoganglionosis (69%), intestinal neuronal dysplasia (55%), and ultrashort segment HD (50%).

SURGERY: Pull-through (PT) is performed at diagnosis by 33% or delayed by 67% (4 months or > 5 kg). Awaiting definitive surgery, 77% perform rectal irrigations, 22% rectal dilatation/stimulations, and 33% perform a stoma. The preferred type of PT is the Soave approach (65%), performed with transanal technique by 70% respondents. If symptoms persist after PT, most opt for conservative approach (enemas/laxatives = 76%; botulinum toxin = 27%), 30% would redo the PT. Total colonic aganglionosis: PT is performed in neonates (4%), at 1 to 6 months (29%), 6 to 12 months (37%) or older (30%). If required, a stoma is sited in the ileum (31%), according to intraoperative biopsies (54%), macroscopic impression (13%), and radiology (2%). Duhamel PT is performed by 52%, Soave by 31%, and Swenson by 17%. Overall, 31% would perform a J-pouch.Conclusions Most aspects of HD management lack consensus with wide variations in obtaining a diagnosis. Transanal Soave PT is the most common technique in standard segment HD. Guidelines should be developed to avoid such variability in management and to facilitate research studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-101
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean journal of pediatric surgery
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


  • Digestive System Surgical Procedures
  • Europe
  • Hirschsprung Disease
  • Humans
  • Journal Article
  • Pediatrics
  • Postoperative Care
  • Practice Patterns, Physicians'
  • Societies, Medical
  • Specialties, Surgical

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