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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Hirschsprung’s Disease: A Rare Adult Diagnosis

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Case Presentation: Approximately 94% of patients with Hirschsprung’s disease (HD) are diagnosed before the age of five. In our case, a young adult with years of constipation presented to the emergency department with significant abdominal distention. He was ultimately diagnosed with HD, which was identified using computed tomography (CT).

Discussion: In HD, we find defects in gastric motility due to improper gut colonization. Without childhood recognition, HD often leads to chronic constipation and failure to thrive in adulthood. CT is a key step in identifying this rare adult diagnosis that should be considered in all patients with a history of chronic constipation.

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