COMPARATIVE STUDY
JOURNAL ARTICLE

Intestinal malrotation: presentation in the older child

A F Uba, L B Chirdan, S T Edino
Nigerian Journal of Medicine: Journal of the National Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria 2005, 14 (1): 23-6
15832638

BACKGROUND: The clinical diagnosis of intestinal malrotation in the older child is not always easy because of its non-specific presentations. The aim of this study was to determine the pattern of presentation of malrotation in older Nigerian children.

METHODS: The clinical, radiological and operative records of all the children aged 2 years or above, managed for malrotation at the Jos University Teaching Hospital between March 1992 and December 2002 were retrospectively reviewed.

RESULTS: There were 9 patients, with a median age of 5 years (range: 3-14 years). The commonest complaint was intermittent colicky abdominal pain in 9 (100%), followed by recurrent vomiting in 8 (88.9%), haematemesis and constipation each in 5 (55.6%) and repeated episodes of bloody stools and diarrhoea. Other features included abdominal distension in 5 (55.6%) and failure to thrive in 4 (44.4%). Preoperative diagnosis was possible only in 3 patients, through the use of barium meal. Operative findings included obstructing bands of Ladd, partial volvulus and mesocolic hernias. Surgery promptly and satisfactorily relieved the symptoms.

CONCLUSION: The diagnosis of intestinal malrotation should be considered in any child with prolonged history of recurrent colicky abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhoea, especially if there is associated history of failure to thrive. Surgical intervention provides satisfactory relief of symptoms and should be implemented as soon as the diagnosis is made.

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