Perforation of the intestine during intrauterine, intrapartum, or early neonatal life may result in extravasation of meconium into the peritoneal cavity, causing a severe sterile and usually fatal peritonitis. Most reported cases have been associated with mechanical obstruction, diverticula, intestinal ulceration, and perhaps obstetrical trauma. Numerous cases have been reported in which no explanation for the perforation could be found. In 1943, Agerty and his associates 1 recorded the first report of a case of meconium peritonitis treated surgically with survival of the infant. Since Agerty's report, at least 25 survivals following operation have been added to the literature. Detailed descriptions of the salient pathologic and clinical features of this condition have been presented by Boikan,2 Agerty,1 Low and his associates,3 Olnick and Hatcher,4 Bendel and Michel,5 and others.
The following case report is that of an infant with meconium peritonitis operated upon for intestinal