Congenital atresia of the intestinal tract is a relatively rare anomaly. Webb and Wangensteen16 estimate that it occurs once in 20,000 births. Evans,4 on the other hand, considers it more frequent, believing that it occurs once in every 1,500 births. The entity has been recognized for many years, the earliest reported case according to Evans4 being that of Binninger, who is said to have described an atresia of the colon in 1673. Its importance is emphasized by the fact that the condition is invariably fatal unless early surgical treatment is instituted. In a review of 1,498 cases, both small and large bowel, Evans4 found only 139 successfully treated. To date, only 14 cases of successfully treated atresia of the colon have been reported.
Authors agree that congenital atresia is far commoner in the small than in the large intestine (Table 1). Spriggs,14 in 398