This information is provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD).
Hirschsprung disease (HSCR) is a disease of the large intestine or colon. People with this disease do not have the nerve cells in the intestine required to pass stools from the body normally. Symptoms of Hirschsprung disease usually start in very young children, but may occur later. The symptoms may vary with age, but often involve constipation and/or obstruction of the bowel. Other signs and symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain or swelling, diarrhea, poor feeding, malnutrition, and slow growth. There are two main types of Hirschsprung disease, known as short-segment disease and long-segment disease, defined by the region of the intestine lacking nerve cells (aganglionic segments). HSCR is considered a neurocristopathy, a disorder of cells and tissues derived from the neural crest, (a group of embryonic cells of the neural tube that forms several structures, of the body). HSCR may occur as an isolated finding or as part of a another disorder. Isolated HSCR is associated with mutations in several genes. Treatment is with surgery, removing the aganglionic intestinal segment.
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