Andrew L. Wong, MD




Paralytic Ileus

September 14, 2005

This obstruction is caused by a failure of intestinal peristalsis; there is no evidence of mechanical obstruction. Paralytic ileus is common after abdominal surgery, especially if anticholinergic drugs are given preoperatively and/or narcotics are used postoperatively. It usually lasts 2 to 3 days. Paralytic ileus may also be caused by peritonitis; ischemia or surgical manipulation of the bowel; retroperitoneal hemorrhage; spinal fracture; systemic sepsis; shock; hypokalemia; uremia; pharmacologic agents (eg, vincristine, loperamide, and calcium channel blockers); diabetic ketoacidosis; and myxedema.

Umbilical Keloid

September 14, 2005

A 3-month-old female infant presented with a mass in the umbilical area. During the neonatal period, an infection of the umbilical cord had resulted in the formation of exuberant granulation tissue at the base of the umbilicus.

Inhaled Corticosteroids Lower Death Risk in COPD

September 14, 2005

This condition involves the invagination of a proximal segment of bowel (the intussusceptum) into a more distal segment (the intussuscipiens). It occurs most frequently in infants between the ages of 5 and 12 months and is a leading cause of intestinal obstruction in children aged 2 months to 5 years. Intrauterine intussusception is associated with the development of intestinal atresia. The male to female ratio is approximately 3:2. Intussusception is slightly more common in white than in black children and is often seen in children with cystic fibrosis.

Labial Fusion

September 14, 2005

A 2-year-old girl presented with a 2-day history of urinary frequency and dysuria. Physical examination revealed complete fusion of the labia minora. Urine culture showed Escherichia coli with a colony count of 108/L. The child was treated with a 10-day course of amoxicillin that resulted in complete clearance of the urinary tract infection.

Eccentric Pigmentation A Clue to Malignant Melanoma in Situ

September 14, 2005

This disorder occurs in fetal development, when the midgut supplied by the superior mesenteric artery grows too rapidly to be accommodated in the abdominal cavity. Prolapse into the umbilical cord occurs around the sixth week of gestation. Between the tenth and eleventh weeks, the midgut retracts from its location at the exocelomic umbilical stalk back into the abdominal cavity. During this return, the midgut undergoes a 270-degree counterclockwise rotation about the axis of the superior mesenteric artery, followed by fixation to the posterior abdominal wall. Malrotation results from failure of the midgut to properly rotate and affix itself to this wall. This disorder occurs approximately once in 500 live births.

Hydrocele of the Cord

September 14, 2005

A 12-year-old boy was brought to his physician because of a tensely cystic mass in the right side of the scrotum. The spermatic cord could be felt above and below the lump. It had no cough impulse.


September 14, 2005

An irritable, lethargic, toxic-looking, and slightly cyanotic 2-month-old boy had a temperature of 40°C (104°F), malaise, and a cough for 2 days. The infant's heart rate was 98 beats per minute, and his respiratory rate was 55 breaths per minute. He had nasal flaring, sternal and subcostal retractions, diminished breath sounds, and scattered rales over the left lung, which was dull to percussion.


September 14, 2005

A 10-year-old boy presented with a 6-month history of a painless mass on the left side of the scrotum. The overlying skin had a bluish discoloration. The mass felt like a “bag of worms.” When the boy stood, venous varicosity could be palpated along the spermatic cord. This venous distention increased when he performed Valsalva's maneuver and decreased when he was recumbent.

Torsion of the Testis

September 14, 2005

Severe pain in the scrotum during a soccer game sent a 14-year-old boy to his physician. The right testicle was swollen and exquisitely tender. On exploration, it was hemorrhagic and blue-black. A small incision in the tunica of the testis revealed arterial bleeding, which indicated that the testis was still viable. The right testicle was untwisted and fixed to the scrotum.

Omphalomesenteric Duct Polyp

September 14, 2005

A 37-year-old man presented with a reddish nodule in the umbilical area that had been present since early infancy. The lesion had been cauterized with silver nitrate several times in the past but had not resolved. No drainage or secondary infection was noted, and the patient was otherwise in good health.