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Correlation of gastric heterotopia and Meckel’s diverticular bleeding in children: a unique association



Meckel’s diverticular bleeding is the commonest cause of major gastrointestinal (GI) haemorrhage in children. We hypothesise that gastric heterotopia (GH) is associated with increased risk of bleeding and, therefore, may affect initial management.


Paediatric patients with histological diagnosis of Meckel’s diverticulum (MD) following diverticulectomy from 1995 to 2011 were reviewed retrospectively, focusing on histological correlation to bleeding. GH identified on histology was regarded as GH+, and where GH was not found was regarded as GH−. Two-tailed Chi-square test and Fisher’s exact test were used, p < 0.05 was statistically significant.


Thirty-nine patients underwent Meckel’s diverticulectomy. The number of patients with GH+, GH−, and bowel necrosis were 21, 15, and 3. Eighteen children with MD had GI bleeding. GI bleeding was more commonly associated with GH+ (14/21) than GH− (4/15) (67 vs 27 %, p = 0.02). Further analysis revealed all four GH− bleeding originated from other sources than the MD. GH+ had no significant association with other presentations. GH+ was present in 8/8 (100 %) positive Meckel’s scans and 2/5 (40 %) negative scans. Meckel’s scan had a sensitivity of 8/10 (80 %), and specificity of 3/3 (100 %).


This study confirmed that GH positive MD is a unique entity presenting typically with GI bleeding.

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The authors would like to acknowledge and are grateful to Mr. M Kulkarni, Mr. AB Mathur and Mr. A Minocha who contributed patients to this study; and Dr. X Tyler for providing pathology review.

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Correspondence to A. Bandi.

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Bandi, A., Tan, Y.W. & Tsang, T. Correlation of gastric heterotopia and Meckel’s diverticular bleeding in children: a unique association. Pediatr Surg Int 30, 313–316 (2014).

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  • Meckel’s diverticulum
  • Histology
  • Paediatric
  • Bleeding