Malrotation and Volvulus

If the bowel does not rotate completely during embryonic development, problems can occur. This condition is called malrotation. Normally, the cecum is located in the lower right part of the abdomen. If the cecum is not positioned correctly, the bands of thin tissue that normally hold it in place may cross over and block part of the small bowel.

Also, if the small bowel and colon have not rotated properly, the mesentery may be only narrowly attached to the back of the abdominal cavity. This narrow attachment can lead to a mobile or floppy bowel that is prone to twisting, a disorder called volvulus.

Malrotation is also associated with other gastrointestinal (GI) conditions, including Hirschsprung’s Disease and bowel atresia.

Malrotation is usually identified in infants. About 60 percent of these cases are found in the first month of life. Malrotation affects both boys and girls, although boys are more often diagnosed in infancy.

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