This 10-year review of surgical conditions in infants at the University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, highlights some of the more common problems encountered and outlines their management. Anorectal agenesis and Hirschsprung's disease were seen relatively more frequently than other anomalies of the gastrointestinal tract. The management of these two conditions and the operation of colostomy and its complications are singled out and presented in some detail.
From 1973 to 1982,40 children with respiratory distress was bronchoscoped for suspected foreign body in the trachea-bronchial tree. In 31 children, foreign bodies were found and were successfully removed. The condition appeared to be confined to the early toddler group. Six children had pulmonary complications post-operatively. There was no death. A plea is made for early diagnosis and referral to lessen the likelihood of residual pulmonary damage.
Study site: University Hospital, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (current name: University Malaya Medical Centre)
A review of all cases of nephroblastoma admitted to the University Hospital over a 10 year period reveals that its incidence relative to the other childhood tumours and epidemiological features are similar to other centres. The majority of patients presented with either stage III or IV disease. During the period 1968·1972 the number of defaulters was high and survival was poor. Following the introduction of treatment protocol, default rate has fallen and 5 of 7 patients have survived more than 2 years. Earlier referral and education of the parents should help improve the outcome for children with Wilms' tumour in Malaysia.
Carcinoma of the biliary tract is a rare complication of choledochal cysts. Furthermore, the greater predisposition of the cyst wall to neoplastic change has been cited as additional justification for cyst excision rather than on-site internal drainage as the primary choice of operation. The report concerns a patient who developed cholangiocarcinoma despite excision of a choledochal cyst and presented with symptoms of biliary obstruction within one year of the operation. Although this is a rare complication, the need for careful long-term follow-up is supported by this observation.
We reviewed 204 cases of liver abscess seen between 1970 and 1985. Ninety were found to be amoebic, 24 pyogenic and one tuberculous. The cause of the abscesses in the remaining 89 patients was not established. The patients were predominantly male, Indians, and in the 30-60 age group. The majority of patients presented with fever and right hypochondrial pain. The most common laboratory findings were leucocytosis, hypoalbuminaemia and an elevated serum alkaline phosphatase. Amoebic abscesses were mainly solitary while pyogenic abscesses were mainly multiple. Complications were few in our patients and included rupture into the pleural and peritoneal cavities and septicaemic shock. An overall mortality of 2.9% was recorded. The difficulty in diagnosing the abscess type is highlighted. The single most important test in helping us diagnose amoebic abscess, presumably the most common type of abscess in the tropics, is the Entamoeba histolytica antibody assay. This test should be used more frequently in the tropics.