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Hirschsprung's Disease

Picture of Hirschsprung's disease

In Hirschsprung's disease, certain nerve cells (ganglion cells) in a portion of the colon are missing. Because the muscles in that area can't relax, the muscle contractions that normally push food and digestive waste through that part of the colon can't occur. The picture on the right shows a colon in which the rectum lacks ganglion nerve cells, causing swelling in the area above it.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer John Pope, MD - Pediatrics
Specialist Medical Reviewer Brad W. Warner, MD - Pediatric Surgery
Last Revised April 13, 2012

Last Revised: April 13, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: John Pope, MD - Pediatrics & Brad W. Warner, MD - Pediatric Surgery

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