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Meckel's diverticulum

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Diverticulum of the ileum derived from the unobliterated yolk stalk. It is a congenital sac or blind pouch, about 6 to 10 cm long, and shaped like a glove’s finger, sometimes found in lower portion of the ileum approximately two feet from the ileo-caecale valve. It represents the persistent proximal end of the yolk stalk - a vestige of ductus omphalomesentericus - which normally completely disappears. Found in about 2 percent of all autopsies. Sometimes it is continued to the umbilicus as a cord as a tube forming a fistolous opening at the umbilicus. It may cause complications such as perforation, haemorrhage from peptic ulceration, intussusception or intestinal obstruction. Strangulation may cause intestinal obstruction. First mentioned by Lavater in 1699.


  • J. F. Meckel:
    Über die Divertikel am Darmkanal.
    Archiv für die Physiologie, Halle, 1809, 9: 421-453.

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