Preliminary Communications

Adrenergic Innervation of Bowel in Hirschsprung's Disease

Br Med J 1969; 3 doi: (Published 09 August 1969) Cite this as: Br Med J 1969;3:330
  1. B. J. Gannon,
  2. Helen R. Noblet,
  3. G. Burnstock


    The adrenergic innervation of normal and aganglionic regions of bowel from patients with Hirschsprung's disease was investigated by a fluorescent histochemical technique. In normal bowel the adrenergic nerves end about intramural ganglion cells. In aganglionic bowel the adrenergic nerves form a dense varicose plexus in both muscularis externa and muscularis mucosae. It is suggested that the cause of megacolon in Hirschsprung's disease is due to a lack of nervous pathways controlling the intrinsic reflexes, which is probably congenital in origin.

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