Meconium ileus is a complication of cystic fibrosis which still causes a high mortality rate in the first year of life. The condition is frequently complicated by meconium peritonitis, volvulus, and/or atresia, but these complications are not necessarily fatal. In the last ten years, the mortality rate for babies with meconium ileus has been about 40%. Thirty-five percent of children who survived the operation died from pneumonia in the first 6 months of life. Children who lived to 6 months had a prognosis similar to other children with cystic fibrosis who did not suffer from meconium ileus, and this will depend on the degree of pulmonary involvement. Some children with meconium ileus may have few pulmonary symptoms and, with good medical care reach adult life.
Close cooperation between the surgeon and pediatrician and the early application of an intensive prophylactic and therapeutic pulmonary program are essential if we are to improve the mortality and morbidity in this disease.
- Received October 26, 1965.
- Accepted December 21, 1965.
- Copyright © 1966 by the American Academy of Pediatrics