- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Hirschsprung's disease

Related people

Megacolon due to lack of ganglion cells with failure of development of the myenteric plexus of the rectosigmoid area of the large intestine. The colon above the inactive area of the sigmoid dilates and there is chronic constipation, abdominal distension, and faecal impaction in infancy, with growth retardation. The symptoms become less severe later in life, but constipation and recurrent faecal impaction may persist. Prevalent in males. Occurrence is 1 in 5000 newborn. No definite hereditary pattern established (polygenetic), but some cases are familial, inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.

The first recorded cases of congenital idiopathic dilation of the colon (Hirschprung’s disease) was published in a posthumous work by the English physician Caleb Hillier Parry (1755-1822).

In Italy this condition is termed Mya’s disease.


  • C. H. Parry:
    Collections From the Unpublished Writings.
    London, Underwood, 1825.
  • H. Hirschsprung:
    Stuhlträgheit Neugeborener in Folge von Dilatation und Hypertrophie des Colons.
    Jahrbuch für Kinderheilkunde und physische Erziehung, Berlin, 1888, 27: 1-7. Erweiterung und Hypertrophie des Dickdarms.
    Berliner klinische Wochenschrift, 1899, 36: 977.
  • G. Mya, in: Sperimentale, 1894, 48: 215.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.