Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Title

BMC Surgery


Geisel School of Medicine


Background: Malrotation with bowel ischemia is classically thought of as a disease of infants. However, the true prevalence of malrotation in both the pediatric and adult population is unknown due to the unclear number of asymptomatic patients. Case presentation: A previously healthy 84-year-old man with no prior abdominal surgeries presented with an acute abdomen and was found on CT to have small bowel located in the right hemiabdomen and an abnormal SMA-SMV relationship suggestive of intestinal malrotation, as well as pneumatosis intestinalis. He underwent an exploratory laparotomy, where he was found to have a paraduodenal space which did not contain any bowel but was the likely source of an internal hernia. His duodenojejunal flexure was located to the right of the spinal column, the cecum in the left lower quadrant, a thick congenital band at the proximal jejunum, and multiple Ladd’s bands at the level of the duodenum. The bowel appeared viable and a Ladd’s procedure was performed. The patient had an uneventful post-operative course. Conclusions: There is a lack of guidelines regarding screening for and management of asymptomatic malrotation in older children and adults. However, the traditional thinking is that asymptomatic malrotation diagnosed after two years of age poses minimal risk. This case illustrates the potential risk of an internal hernia in the setting of malrotation at any time during one’s lifetime.



Original Citation

Schwab, M.E., Kramer, S.P., Bashi, A. et al. A problem at any age: a case report of congenital malrotation with bowel ischemia in an 84-year-old. BMC Surg 22, 35 (2022).