In 1886, Hirschsprung1 described congenital idiopathic megacolon. Cases were reported prior to this time, however, notably by Parry2 in 1825 and, in this country, by Lewitt3 of Chicago in 1867, but, on account of Hirschsprung's classical description and detailed study, the condition has been rightfully called in the literature Hirschsprung's disease.
The question has been frequently raised as to whether the disease was idiopathic in character or whether it was due to congenital malformations in the gastro-intestinal tract producing partial obstruction with the subsequent formation of megacolon. Hirschsprung, who was well aware of this possibility, stated that no such obstructions existed as a causative factor in the cases he was describing.
We consider the case reported in this article one of congenital megacolon because of the mode of onset, and because of the clinical and operative findings.
REPORT OF CASE
—C. Z., a boy, aged 8