Meconium Cyst

A meconium cyst may be formed when there is an intra-uterine intestinal rupture or may the result of an intestinal volvulus or twisting of the bowel. Perforation of the bowel is common, according to specialists at the University Center for Fetal Medicine.  


The combination of the meconium-filled bowel, volvulus and meconium outside the bowel may be seen on routine ultrasound. Once this is noted, a fetal MRI may be done to confirm diagnosis and assess for other structural anomalies. Parental DNA testing may be recommended to assess the risk for cystic fibrosis. If these tests are positive, genetic counseling is recommended.

Prenatal care consists of serial ultrasounds to assess maternal and fetal well-being. The fetal abdomen will be assessed prior to delivery to rule out the risk of abdominal dystocia. It may be necessary to drain the fetal abdomen prior to delivery if it is noted to be large and fluid-filled on ultrasound. This will help decrease the risk of dystocia at birth. Delivery at a tertiary care center is advised as immediate assessment by a pediatric surgeon is needed. 


The neonate will be thoroughly assessed and undergo abdominal radiographs (X-rays) immediately after delivery. Surgical intervention may be needed.

The long-term outcome of infants with a meconium cyst depends on the underlying cause. 

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