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June 1968

Volvulus of the Entire Small Intestine Without Associated Malrotation

Author Affiliations

Clarksburg, WVa
From the departments of surgery, Veterans Administration Hospital, Clarksburg, WVa, and West Virginia University Medical Center, Morgantown, WVa. Dr. Cueto is presently on leave from the Hospital Central Militar, Mexico, DF.

Arch Surg. 1968;96(6):953-955. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01330240099023

COMPLETE volvulus of the small intestine without associated malformation (primary volvulus) is a rare clinical entity. To be classified as primary and total, volvulus of the small intestine must not be associated with any congenital or acquired malformation such as incomplete malrotation of the large bowel, fixed ileum, and/or adhesive bands which may cause the volvulus.

During the 25-year period of 1910 to 1935, McKechnie and Priestley of the Mayo Clinic reported 34 cases of volvulus of the small intestine, of which only three could be classified as complete, without known etiology.1 Similarly Saltin, who reported 43 cases of volvulus of the small intestine during a 20-year period in Finland, found that only eight were complete volvulus, and seven of these were idiopathic.2 Based on the most recent report by Svane,3 one can estimate that less than 50 such cases have been reported in the world literature.