How to Say It: HIRSH-sprung ah–SO-shee-ay-ted ENT-ero-co-LYE-tis
Hirschsprung-associated enterocolitis (HAEC) is an inflammation or infection of the bowel in babies who have Hirschsprung disease (HD). HD is when an area of the colon (large intestine) cannot push stool through as it should. This can lead to a partial or full blockage.
HAEC can happen suddenly. Care is needed right away.
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HAEC may be caused by:
Things that may raise the risk of this problem are:
Problems may be:
You will be asked about your child’s symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done.
Your child's bodily fluids may be tested. This can be done with blood tests.
Images may be needed of the intestines and other nearby structures. This can be done with abdominal x-rays.
The goal of treatment is to ease inflammation and infection. Options are:
Some children may need surgery. This is not common.
There are no known methods to prevent this health problem.
Healthy Children—American Academy of Pediatrics
International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders
Canadian Association of Gastroenterology
Caring for Kids—Canadian Paediatric Society
Hirschsprung disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/hirschsprung-disease. Accessed August 30, 2021.
Hirschsprung’s disease. About Kids GI—International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders website. Available at: https://aboutkidsgi.org/lower-gi/hirschsprungs-disease. Accessed August 30, 2021.
Last reviewed July 2021 by
EBSCO Medical Review Board
Kari Kuenn, MD
Last Updated: 8/30/2021