Pronounced: HIRSH-sprung ah–SO-shee-ay-ted ENT-ero-co-LYE-tisEn Español (Spanish Version)
Hirschsprung’s-associated enterocolitis (HAEC) is a complication of Hirschsprung’s disease. This is a rare condition that occurs in babies. It occurs when there are no nerve cells in the bowel. These nerve cells normally help control the bowel muscles that allow feces to move through the colon. The absence of these cells results in a bowel obstruction. This prevents normal bowel movements.
Enterocolitis is an inflammation or infection of the bowel. HAEC can happen suddenly and requires immediate care by a doctor. In most cases, hospital care is needed.
HAEC occurs when the bowel becomes inflamed or infected. This may be caused by:
- An intestinal blockage caused by Hirschsprung’s disease
- Bacterial or viral infection—Because of Hirschsprung’s disease, bacteria may grow more quickly in the intestines.
- Other changes in the intestines caused by Hirschsprung’s disease
Last reviewedDecember 2013by Daus Mahnke, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.