Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Abstract The authors present their experience with the histotopochemical alpha-naphthylesterase reaction for intraoperative evaluation of the length of the aganglionic segment in Hischsprung's disease (HD). The activity of nonspecific esterases (Davis and Ornstein technique ) was used to demonstrate the presence or absence of intramural ganglion cells in seromuscular intestinal biopsies taken at various levels in 50 patients with the preoperative diagnosis of HD; in 44 cases the biopsies were taken during a radical HD operation (endorectal pull-through, Soave technique). In the remaining 6 cases, which presented with intestinal obstruction, the biopsies were taken during laparotomy. The authors consider this histochemical technique a reliable, quick, simple, and economical method for intraoperative evaluation of the length of the aganglionic segment. It is also useful for confirming the diagnosis of HD and is of great help in the study of so-called pseudo-HD.
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