Research Article

Meconium ileus equivalent in older patients with cystic fibrosis.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983; 286 doi: (Published 30 April 1983) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1983;286:1411
  1. J G Hanly,
  2. M X Fitzgerald


    Meconium ileus equivalent is one of the lesser known manifestations of cystic fibrosis, and occurs most often in older patients. With the improved overall survival of patients with cystic fibrosis, one would expect to see this condition more often in the future. Of 53 patients attending our cystic fibrosis clinic for adolescents and adults, eight had experienced a total of 25 episodes of meconium ileus equivalent. Recurrent attacks occurred in seven patients, of whom four had at least four separate, well documented episodes: these episodes were associated with obvious recognised precipitating factors in only three patients. All patients responded to appropriate medical treatment with acetylcysteine or sodium diatrizoate, including three who had previously undergone surgery for meconium ileus equivalent elsewhere. Controversies remain, however, concerning the role of prophylactic medical management with acetylcysteine, sodium diatrizoate, and pancreatic supplements.