Three hundred and seventy-two rectal mucosal biopsies, taken from 150 children and young adults with chronic constipation, were subjected to histochemical and biochemical analysis of acetylcholinesterase to excude Hirschsprung's disease. The relative merits of the procedures were compared. The histochemical method was considered to be the most practical for laboratories handling small numbers of biopsies but the biochemical estimation of acetylcholinesterase activity was found to be a useful complementary procedure and an accurate quantitative assessment of enzyme activity.
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