Initial Conservative Management of Exomphalos Major with Gentian Violet

Ashrarur Rahman Mitul, K M N Ferdous


Aim: The purpose of the study was to assess the results of topical use of gentian violet (GV), among the babies with exomphalos major in our institute.

Methods: The study was carried out retrospectively in a tertiary care hospital during the pe­riod from 2005 to 2010 inclusive. Exomphalos patients were classified as major if diameter was >5 cm and/or had liver in the sac as content. These patients were initially preferentially treated conservatively with topical 1% GV over the sac resultig a ventral hernia to be re­paired later.

Results: A total of 84 exomphalos patients were admitted during the study period. Among them, 37 neonates (26 males and 11 females) had exomphalos major (EM). Ten of them were prenatally diagnosed. The mean gestational age at delivery was 35 weeks, and mean birth weight was 2.1 Kg. Mean age at presentation was 3.7 days. Thirty (81%) had other associated anomalies, mostly cardiac (66.6%) and pulmonary (46.6%). Ten patients with EM needed early operation because of ruptured sac, and other anomalies. There were 2 pre­operative and 8 postoperative deaths in this subgroup. Twenty seven patients were treated conservatively, among these 4 died of overwhelming sepsis. Remaining 23 patients left the hospital with a ventral hernia planned to be repaired at 1 year of age. Overall mortality in our series was 37.83%.

Conclusion: Initial conservative treatment of the sac with GV results in satisfactory outcome for infants with EM who cannot undergo immediate closure.


Exomphalos major; Conservative treatment; Gentian violet

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