OPEN Research Support

Niels Bjørn
Department of Pediatric Surgery, A., Odense University Hospital

Projekt styring
Projekt status    Open
Data indsamlingsdatoer
Start 14.04.2021  
Slut 01.04.2024  

Evaluation of Biopsy methods in the diagnosis of Hirschsprung's Disease.

Short summary

Comparison of the two existing methods for obtaining rectal biopsies in children on the suspicion of Mb Hirschsprung.


Diagnostic procedures involving the need of surgically obtaining tissue material, carry the risk of complications and the risk of being inconclusive due to various reasons. Lowering the risk of inconclusive diagnostic tests with highest sensitivity and specificity is of high importance in all diagnostic procedures. A full thickness rectal biopsy (FTB) includes both the submucosal and the myenteric nerve plexus for histological evaluation for presence of ganglion cells and hypertrophic nerve fibers. FTB is performed in general anesthesia (GA), the biopsy is cut with scissors under direct visualization of the intestine and with suturing of the biopsy defect. The other method is a suction biopsy (RSB) in which the biopsy is more superficial acquiring only the submucosal layers. RSB's are performed with a specially designed rectoscope, and the biopsy is obtained under negative pressure within the scope, without visual guidance. This procedure can be performed without anesthesia in children blow 1 year and does not necessitate suturing of the bowel.

The problem with especially RSB could be that the biopsy is too superficial or too small in size for proper pathological evaluation. As a consequence the child has to undergo a new procedure. There is also the risk of false positive or false negative results, which is a serious clinical issue carrying the risk of performing extensive surgery in an otherwise healthy child.

Inconclusive biopsies differ extensively from series to series. But the two largest studies show a rate of inconclusive biopsies at 10% for RSB and 5% for FTB.(Freidmacher and Bjorn). The biopsy profile is similar with less than 1% severe complications (Above Clavien DindoIII) in both procedures, with bleeding as dominating in RSB and Fever in FTB.

Thus there are different advantages and disadvantages between the two methods of biopsy in children suspicious of HD, and different centers advocate either. A prospective comparison of both methods with the child as its own control is a more precise way to compare the two methods and has never been performed. Thus, this study is expected to give an answer to an important research question that will have potential implication worldwide.

Description of the cohort

All children between 0-15 years of age undergoing biopsies for diagnosis of the diagnosis of HD in Western Denmark from 1/9 2020 will be offered to participate and parental accept will be acquired. Other Scandinavian centres will be offered participation ongoing.

Data and biological material

Rectal biopsy tissue.

Chart information.

Collaborating researchers and departments

Department of Pathology, Odense University Hospital

  • Gunvor Madsen