How much of a misnomer is "asymptomatic" intestinal malrotation?

Zahavi Cohen, Oleg Kleiner, Robert Finaly, Jacob Mordehai, Nitza Newman, Edna Kurtzbart, Abraham J. Mares

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: Intestinal malrotatlon is usually observed in the neonatal period with signs of acute high intestinal obstruction due to midgut volvulus. However, malrotation presenting beyond the neonatal period and well into adult life is associated with a variety of atypical and frequently non-specific gastrointestinal symptoms that may often cause prolonged delay in diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Objectives: To emphasize the difficulty in predicting the risk of midgut volvulus based on age or symptoms, and to recommend surgery in all patients found to have intestinal malrotation even if they are considered asymptomatic. Methods: We reviewed 41 patients with malrotation treated over a period of 24 years at the Soroka University Medical Center. Results: In our series, 27 patients (66%) had acute midgut volvulus while 14 (34%) had malrotation found during investigation of various long-term gastrointestinal non-specific symptoms. Two patients died of total parenteral nutrition-related sepsis following extensive resection of small bowel. A total of 28 patients was available for long-tern follow-up and are asymptomatic. Conclusions: We recommend elective laparotomy and Ladd procedure in all patients found to have intestinal malrotation. This will prevent the catastrophic results of midgut volvulus and a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms wrongly attributed to other conditions in the span of a lifetime.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)172-174
Number of pages3
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2003


  • "Asymptomatic" malrotation
  • Intestinal malrotation
  • Midgut volvulus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (all)


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