Perforated Meckel Diverticulum: A Rare Cause of Acute Abdomen in Children

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Abstract

Meckel diverticulum (MD) is the most common congenital anomaly of the gastrointestinal tract and the most common cause of gastrointestinal bleeding in children. Although it usually follows the rule of 2's, exceptions to this rule are reported in the literature. Often asymptomatic, MD is commonly an incidental finding during surgical interventions. When symptomatic, the most common presentation of this condition is painless rectal bleeding. A myriad of other nonspecific symptoms are however possible, especially in adults, thus making this diagnosis difficult. Meckel diverticulum has been reported to mimic other abdominal pathologies like appendicitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and pancreatitis to name a few.

We report a patient with acute abdomen in whom the more common causes of acute abdomen were ruled out and a diagnosis of MD was established on exploratory laparoscopy, only after he developed perforation. This report emphasizes the need for maintaining a high index of suspicion towards a possibility of a complicated MD in patients presenting with an acute abdomen, once other causes of acute abdomen are ruled out.

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