Jejunal atresia

Last revised by Bahman Rasuli on 31 May 2021

Jejunal atresia is a congenital anomaly characterized by obliteration of the lumen of the jejunum. The site of the atresia can be anywhere from the ligament of Treitz to the jejunoileal junction. There can be more than one atretic segment.

This article will focus on jejunal atresia alone but bear in mind that some cases correspond to jejunoileal atresia and show a mixed pattern, including the ones discussed in the ileal atresia article

Jejunal atresia has an incidence of about 1:1,000 live births and is more common than duodenal atresia.

Neonates typically present with abdominal distension and bilious vomiting within the first 24 hours of birth. These symptoms, however, do not allow for differentiation from duodenal atresia.

The etiology is thought to be from an in-utero ischemic event.

The classic radiographic sign of jejunal atresia is that of a triple bubble appearance for a proximal obstruction; it is equivalent to the double bubble sign of duodenal appearance plus a third bubble is caused by filling and distention of the jejunum by air. 

There can be multiple dilated small bowel loops proximal to the atresia and the number of dilated loops increase as point of atresia becomes more distal.

Contrast enema typically shows micro colon (small unused colon)

On plain radiograph consider:

On contrast enema consider:

ADVERTISEMENT: Supporters see fewer/no ads

Cases and figures

  • Case 1: with triple bubble
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 1: with unused microcolon
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Case 2
    Drag here to reorder.
  • Updating… Please wait.

     Unable to process the form. Check for errors and try again.

     Thank you for updating your details.