Midgut volvulus in an adult patient

F Janssens, G Verswijvel, J Smits, A Dams, H Verhelst, G Robaeys, Y Palmers
JBR-BTR: Organe de la Société Royale Belge de Radiologie (SRBR) 2003, 86 (2): 74-6
The authors report on a case of midgut volvulus in a 27-year-old man who presented with bilious vomiting and acute abdominal pain. US demonstrated a reversal of the normal relationship between the superior mesenteric artery (SMA) and superior mesenteric vein (SMV). A clockwise whirlpool sign, diagnostic for midgut volvulus, was not visualised. In a further assessment, upper gastrointestinal series demonstrated obstruction in the second part of the duodenum highly suspicious of Ladd's bands. Malpositioning of bowel structures, as already suggested by the reversal of the SMA and SMV on ultrasound, and a distinctive whirl pattern due to the bowel wrapping around the SMA was demonstrated on CT. Furthermore angiography revealed focal twisting of the SMA. US is the first imaging modality to perform in suspicion of midgut volvulus. When inconclusive, CT is in our opinion the next stage in the diagnostic work-up.


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