ONE OF the more common developmental abnormalities of the intestinal tract is Meckel's diverticulum. Although probably recognized and described as early as 1598 by Hildanus, it was not until 1809 that Johann Frederic Meckel1 clarified the origin and significance of this diverticulum. Developmentally, it is formed by the persistence of the proximal or intestinal end of the vitelline duct which connects the yoke sac with the midgut.
The incidence of Meckel's diverticulum is from 1 to 2 per cent as shown by Christie2 and Harkins,3 who reviewed some 30,000 autopsies. That the diverticulum is relatively common can be attested to by nearly every surgeon who has had some experience with the various complications associated with this embryologic abnormality.
Heterotopic tissue in Meckel's diverticulum is not uncommon, being present in 15 to 25 per cent of all diverticula.4 The incidence of heterotopic tissue rises to 60 to