Meconium peritonitis (MP) occurs when the bowel ruptures in utero or in a neonate, releasing meconium into the peritoneal cavity. This results in a chemical peritonitis.
Causes usually involve a rupture of the small bowel associated with:
(1) intestinal atresia
(2) fetal hydrops with rupture of the appendix
(3) complicated meconium ileus
According to Dirkes et al, meconium peritonitis can be classified as:
(1) simple: no associated bowel abnormalities
(2) complex: bowel abnormalities present
(1) distended abdomen with ascites
Imaging findings seen in the fetus or newborn:
(1) intra-abdominal calcifications
(3) bowel distention
(5) pseudocyst formation
(1) greenish peritoneal fluid
(2) inflammation in the peritoneal fluid, often sterile
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