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Year : 2019  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 212-215

Milk curd obstruction: An increasingly common rarity?

1 Department of Paediatric Surgery, Oxford University Hospitals Trust, Oxford Children's Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom; Department of Paediatric Surgery, Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa
2 Department of Paediatric Surgery, Oxford University Hospitals Trust, Oxford Children's Hospital, Oxford, United Kingdom

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Niveshni Maistry
11 Lords Ave, Randburg, 2194 Johannesburg

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jcn.JCN_51_19

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Introduction: Milk curd obstruction is a rare, yet important cause of neonatal bowel obstruction that has been seldom reported in the literature. The presentation has evolved over time: Initially being seen in formula-fed term babies, to now being more prevalent in premature babies that require milk fortification. We present a case series of four patients treated for the condition at our institution and report that there may be additional contributing factors that have not been previously described. Method: Case notes of four patients that were diagnosed with milk curd obstruction over a one-year period were retrospectively analysed. Data collected included: gender, gestational age at birth, birth weight, pre-existing gastro-intestinal pathology, previous surgeries, feeding regimens used as well as the management and outcomes of milk curd obstruction. Results: All patients included in the series were premature, with three being classified as extremely low birth weight (ELBW). All babies received fortified expressed breast milk feeds. Three patients were treated for necrotising enterocolitis (NEC) prior to being diagnosed with milk curd obstruction. Two patients had undergone surgery for abdominal pathology ahead of their diagnosis. Three of the four babies required operative management for milk curd obstruction, whilst one was successfully managed conservatively. There were no mortalities. Conclusion: Previous gastrointestinal pathology as well as previous surgery may be associated with the development of milk curd obstruction. Milk curd obstruction is becoming an increasingly significant cause of neonatal bowel obstruction and further research and investigation is required to establish patterns of causation.

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