Learn About Infantile Pyloric Stenosis

What is the definition of Infantile Pyloric Stenosis?

Pyloric stenosis is a narrowing of the opening from the stomach into the small intestine. This is called the pylorus. This article describes the condition in infants.

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What are the alternative names for Infantile Pyloric Stenosis?

Congenital hypertrophic pyloric stenosis; Infantile hypertrophic pyloric stenosis; Gastric outlet obstruction; Vomiting - pyloric stenosis

What are the causes of Infantile Pyloric Stenosis?

Normally, food passes easily from the stomach into the first part of the small intestine through a valve called the pylorus. With pyloric stenosis, the muscles of the pylorus are thickened. This prevents the stomach from emptying into the small intestine.

The exact cause of the thickening is unknown. Genes may play a role, since children of parents who had pyloric stenosis are more likely to have this condition. Other risk factors include:

  • Certain antibiotics
  • Too much acid in the first part of the small intestine (duodenum)
  • Certain diseases a baby is born with, such as diabetes

Pyloric stenosis occurs most often in infants younger than 6 months. It is more common in boys than in girls.

What are the symptoms of Infantile Pyloric Stenosis?

Vomiting is the first symptom in most children:

  • Vomiting may occur after every feeding or only after some feedings.
  • Vomiting usually starts around 3 weeks of age, but may start any time between 1 week and 5 months of age.
  • Vomiting is forceful (projectile vomiting).
  • The infant is hungry after vomiting and wants to feed again.

Other symptoms appear several weeks after birth and may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Burping
  • Constant hunger
  • Dehydration (gets worse as vomiting gets worse)
  • Failure to gain weight or weight loss
  • Wave-like motion of the abdomen shortly after feeding and just before vomiting occurs
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What are the current treatments for Infantile Pyloric Stenosis?

Treatment for pyloric stenosis involves surgery to widen the pylorus. The surgery is called pyloromyotomy.

If it is not safe to put the infant to sleep for surgery, an endoscope is used. This is a long, flexible tube with a camera and a tiny balloon at the end. The balloon is inflated to widen the pylorus.

In infants who cannot have surgery, tube feeding or medicine to relax the pylorus is tried.

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What is the outlook (prognosis) for Infantile Pyloric Stenosis?

Surgery usually relieves all symptoms. As soon as several hours after surgery, the infant can start small, frequent feedings.

What are the possible complications of Infantile Pyloric Stenosis?

If pyloric stenosis isn't treated, a baby won't get enough nutrition and fluid. The child can become underweight and dehydrated.

When should I contact a medical professional for Infantile Pyloric Stenosis?

Contact your health care provider if your baby has symptoms of this condition.

Digestive system
Pyloric stenosis
Infantile pyloric stenosis - series
What are the latest Infantile Pyloric Stenosis Clinical Trials?
Role of the Gastric Tube in the Preoperative Management of Hypertrophic Pyloric Stenosis
Summary: Pyloric stenosis is a current condition in pediatric surgery. The medical management prior to surgery consists of ionic correction. The nasogastric tube is commonly used to prevent gastric fluid inhalation before surgery, but there is no study on it benefits in this specific use. Other studies suggest that utilization of a gastric tube in pyloric stenosis may increase the duration of the medical t...
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Safety and Efficacy of Endoscopic Ultrasound-Guided Gastroenterostomy for the Treatment of Malignant Gastric Outlet Obstruction
Summary: Malignant gastric outlet obstruction is a very disabling complication of patients with gastric, duodenal, ampullary, pancreatic, or bile duct cancer and worsens their prognosis. Current treatments have reported a similar complication rate and higher mortality in surgically treated patients. Recently, the creation of endoscopic ultrasound-guided gastroenterostomy (EUS) has shown promising results i...
What are the Latest Advances for Infantile Pyloric Stenosis?
Transumbilical single-site two incision laparoscopic pyloromyotomy for pediatric hypertrophic pyloric stenosis.
Summary: Transumbilical single-site two incision laparoscopic pyloromyotomy for pediatric hypertrophic pyloric stenosis.
Safety and benefit of ad libitum feeding following laparoscopic pyloromyotomy: retrospective comparative trial.
Summary: Safety and benefit of ad libitum feeding following laparoscopic pyloromyotomy: retrospective comparative trial.
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A Case of Adenocarcinoma Arising from an Ectopic Pancreas of the Stomach Presenting as Pyloric Stenosis.
Summary: A Case of Adenocarcinoma Arising from an Ectopic Pancreas of the Stomach Presenting as Pyloric Stenosis.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: August 10, 2021
Published By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM. Pyloric stenosis and other congenital anomalies of the stomach. In: Kliegman RM, St. Geme JW, Blum NJ, Shah SS, Tasker RC, Wilson KM, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 21st ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 355.

Seifarth FG, Soldes OS. Congenital anomalies and surgical disorders of the stomach. In: Wyllie R, Hyams JS, Kay M, eds. Pediatric Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 25.