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.
Cueto J, Mendoza CB, Easley GW, Gerwig WH. Volvulus of the Entire Small Intestine Without Associated Malrotation. Arch Surg. 1968;96(6):953–955. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1968.01330240099023
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