Situs inversus totalis with perforated duodenal ulcer: a case report

Mohammad Tayeb, Faiz Mohammad Khan, Fozia Rauf
Journal of Medical Case Reports 2011, 5: 279

INTRODUCTION: Situs inversus is an uncommon anomaly. Situs inversus viscerum can be either total or partial. Total situs inversus, also termed as mirror image dextrocardia, is characterized by a heart on the right side of the midline while the liver and the gall bladder are on the left side. Patients are usually asymptomatic and have a normal lifespan. The exact etiology is unknown but an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance has been speculated. The first case of perforated duodenal ulcer with situs inversus was reported in 1986; here, we report the second case of this nature in the medical literature.

CASE PRESENTATION: A 22-year-old Pakistani man presented with severe epigastric and left hypochondrial pain. Examination and investigations (chest X-ray and ultrasonography) confirm peritonitis in a case of situs inversus totalis. On exploratory laparotomy, a diagnosis of situs inversus totalis with perforated duodenal ulcer was confirmed. Graham's patch closure of the duodenal ulcer was performed with absorbable sutures, and a thorough peritoneal lavage was also performed; an incidental appendectomy was also performed to avoid further diagnostic problems. Our patient had an uneventful recovery.

CONCLUSIONS: A diagnostic dilemma arises whenever abdominal pathology occurs in patients with situs inversus. Although an uncommon anomaly, to choose a proper surgical incision site for abdominal exploration pre-operative recognition of the condition is important.

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