Abnormalities of peptide-containing nerve fibers in infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis

D. A. Wattchow, D. T. Cass, J. B. Furness, M. Costa, P. E. O'Brien, K. E. Little, J. Pitkin

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66 Citations (Scopus)


The distributions of nerve cells and fibers with immunoreactivity for the peptides enkephalin, gastrin-releasing peptide, neuropeptide Y, somatostatin, substance P, and vasoactive intestinal peptide were examined in specimens of myenteric plexus and external muscle from the pylorus of 20 infants with hypertrophic pyloric stenosis. These were compared with peptide distributions in pyloric samples from unaffected infants and adults. In the normal pylorus the circular muscle was richly supplied with fibers reactive for enkephalin, neuropeptide Y, substance P, and vasoactive intestinal peptide. In pyloric stenosis, these immunoreactive fiber bundles were either missing or < 5% of normal. In contrast, there were reactive cell bodies and nerve fibers in the myenteric plexuses of both normal and affected specimens. In the samples from cases of stenosis, swollen nerve fibers that appeared to be in the process of degeneration were frequently encountered. It is concluded that infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis is associated with a loss of peptide immunoreactivity in nerve fibers in the circular muscle, although the same peptides are still revealed in fibers and in nerve cell bodies in the myenteric plexus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)443-448
Number of pages6
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1987


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