Small-intestinal volvulus around the superior mesenteric artery as an extremely rare positioning-associated complication after percutaneous liver biopsy

Toru Ikegami, Yuji Soejima, Akinobu Taketomi, Noboru Harada, Hideo Uehara, Yo-Ichi Yamashita, Yoshihiko Maehara
Surgery Today 2008, 38 (6): 576-7
Small-bowel volvulus around the superior mesenteric artery is a very unusual cause of small-intestinal obstruction, which may result in intestinal ischemia and necrosis. A 45-year-old woman, who had received a living-donor liver transplant with a right lobe graft for fulminant hepatic failure 5 years earlier, underwent a liver biopsy and was placed in the right decubitus position. Abdominal pain, high fever, tachycardia, and altered mental status developed quickly, suggesting abdominal sepsis. Computed tomography (CT) showed a "target sign," representing a counter-clockwise rotation of the mesenteric pedicle. However, without laparotomy, the symptoms subsided completely within 12 h by her lying strictly in the left decubitus position. A second CT scan showed an orthotopic untwisted jejunum. Although many complications associated with percutaneous liver biopsy have been described, to our knowledge this is the first report of positioning-associated intestinal volvulus after a liver biopsy.

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