Cecal volvulus: review of 12 cases

South Med J. 1988 Oct;81(10):1233-5.


We reviewed the records of patients with cecal volvulus at three affiliated hospitals of Eastern Virginia Medical School to elucidate its incidence, patterns of presentation, and current methods of surgical management. We identified 109 patients in whom a discharge diagnosis of intestinal obstruction due to volvulus was made from 1966 to 1985. In 12 patients (11%) laparotomy showed the volvulus at the terminal ileum and cecum. The presenting symptoms in this group were distention in ten (83%), pain in seven (58%), obstipation or constipation in two (17%), and diarrhea in one (8%). Diagnosis was achieved by plain abdominal films in five (45%); barium enema was obtained in six patients and was diagnostic in five (83%). Two patients had delay in diagnosis with subsequent gangrene of cecum; one of them died. No deaths occurred in the group with viable bowel. Treatment was by simple detorsion without fixation in two (17%), detorsion with cecopexy in two (17%), tube cecostomy in three (25%), and ileocolectomy in three (25%). Simple detorsion was not followed by recurrence of the volvulus in any case in this series. Cecopexy for viable colon and ileocolectomy for gangrenous colon appeared to have the lowest rates of complications.

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Cecal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Cecal Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Cecal Diseases / surgery
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Obstruction / diagnosis*
  • Intestinal Obstruction / diagnostic imaging
  • Intestinal Obstruction / surgery
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Time Factors