Meconium peritonitis

Meconium peritonitis
Meconium peritonitis
Classification and external resources
ICD-10 P78.0
ICD-9 777.6

Meconium peritonitis refers to rupture of the bowel prior to birth, resulting in fetal stool (meconium) escaping into the surrounding space (peritoneum) leading to inflammation (peritonitis). Despite the bowel rupture, many infants born after meconium peritonitis in utero have normal bowels and have no further issues.

Infants with cystic fibrosis are at increased risk for meconium peritonitis.


Twenty percent of infants born with meconium peritonitis will have vomiting and dilated bowels on x-rays which necessitates surgery.

Meconium peritonitis is sometimes diagnosed on prenatal ultrasound[1] where it appears as calcifications[2] within the peritoneum.


Meconium peritonitis was first described in 1838 by Carl von Rokitansky.


  1. ^ Tseng JJ, Chou MM, Ho ES (June 2003). "Meconium peritonitis in utero: prenatal sonographic findings and clinical implications". J Chin Med Assoc 66 (6): 355–9. PMID 12889504. 
  2. ^ Dirkes K, Crombleholme TM, Craigo SD, et al. (July 1995). "The natural history of meconium peritonitis diagnosed in utero". J. Pediatr. Surg. 30 (7): 979–82. doi:10.1016/0022-3468(95)90325-9. PMID 7472957. 

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