Hirschsprung disease and use of calretinin in inadequate rectal suction biopsies.
ABSTRACT Context.-Up to 17% of all rectal suction biopsies performed in the evaluation of Hirschsprung disease are considered inadequate. In most instances, inadequate biopsies contain too little submucosa or are taken within the anal transition zone. Objectives.-To examine the utility of calretinin stain in the workup of inadequate biopsies for patients with clinical suspicion of Hirschsprung disease. Design.-A retrospective analysis was conducted of all rectal suction biopsies performed in the evaluation of Hirschsprung disease during the previous 12 years that were considered "inadequate." Seventeen cases were identified, and Hirschsprung disease status was determined by clinical or surgical follow-up. Immunohistochemistry for calretinin was performed for all cases containing columnar mucosa, which were evaluated without knowledge of clinical course. Results.-All 12 patients without Hirschsprung disease had calretinin-positive nerve fibers in the lamina propria or muscularis mucosae, and all 5 patients with Hirschsprung disease had no calretinin staining of nerves. Conclusions.-In this retrospective series, calretinin immunohistochemistry correctly predicted outcome in all instances. Although the gold standard for the diagnosis of Hirschsprung disease in rectal suction biopsies remains the evaluation of ganglion cells in a hematoxylin-eosin staining with sufficient submucosa, calretinin immunohistochemistry is quite helpful in triaging further workup based on clinical suspicion.