Meconium plug syndrome is a relatively common cause of transient functional colon obstruction in newborn, characterized by delayed passage (>24–48 h) of meconium and intestinal dilatation with an obstruction of the colon with thickened plugs of mucus. The incidence is of 1 in 1,000 births. The clinical presentation is the same as that for a distal intestinal obstruction. Most infants present within their first 24–36 h of life. Clinical and radiological signs of meconium plug syndrome can overlap with other disorders. For these reasons, the diagnosis can be difficult. The treatment of the meconium plug is conservative and consists of stimulation of the rectum or colon in some manner. In many cases, simple finger examination of the rectum or insertion of a rectal thermometer produces enough stimulation to induce peristalsis and promote evacuation of the meconium. In other cases, water-soluble contrast enema examination may induce meconium passage.
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