Other Known Aliases – none
Definition – Vestigial remnant of the omphalomesenteric (vitiline) duct
Clinical Significance – It is the most common malformation in the GI tract and is mainly asymptomatic. When symptoms do occur, it commonly presents as painless, rectal bleeding in children. The “Rule of 2s” will help you remember the facts of this pathology:
- Effects 2% of the population
- 2% of these will be symptomatic by age 2
- 2 types of heterotopic tissue
- Boy-to-girl ratio is 2:1
- Usually 2″ in length
- 2′ from the ileocecal valve
History – Named after Johann Friedrich Meckel, the Younger (1781-1833), who was a German anatomist and received his medical doctorate from the University of Halle in 1802. He then went on to become full professor of anatomy, surgery, and obstetrics at the University of Halle in 1808 after studying Würzburg, Vienna, and Paris. He made tremendous advancements in the area of anatomy and embryonic development with special attention to birth defects and abnormalities, where he pioneered the early study of teratology. He first published his eponymous finding in 1809 in an article entitled “Über die Divertikel am Darmkanal” in the Halle Archives of Physiology. Of note, he comes from a prestigous medical family, where both his father, grandfather, and brother were physicians….hence the surname “the Younger”.
- Firkin BG and Whitwirth JA. Dictionary of Medical Eponyms. 2nd ed. New York, NY; Parthenon Publishing Group. 1996.
- Bartolucci S, Forbis P. Stedman’s Medical Eponyms. 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD; LWW. 2005.
- Yee AJ, Pfiffner P. (2012). Medical Eponyms (Version 1.4.2) [Mobile Application Software]. Retrieved http://itunes.apple.com.
- Whonamedit – dictionary of medical eponyms. http://www.whonamedit.com
- Up To Date. www.uptodate.com
- Stallion A, Shuck JM. Meckel’s Diverticulum. Surgical Treatment: Evidence-Based and Problem-Oriented. 2001 [pubmed]
- Blackbourne LH. Surgical Recall. 6th ed. 2012
- J. F. Meckel. Über die Divertikel am Darmkanal. Archiv für die Physiologie, Halle, 1809, 9: 421–453
- Klunker R, Göbbel L, Musil A, Tönnies H, Schultka R. Johann Friedrich Meckel the Younger (1781-1833) and modern teratology. Annals of Anatomy. 2002; 184(6):535-40. [pubmed]