Evaluation of the predictability of clinical and radiological findings in the diagnosis of malrotation

Turk J Pediatr. 2022;64(4):640-647. doi: 10.24953/turkjped.2021.5019.


Background: To evaluate the predictability of clinical and radiological findings in the diagnosis of malrotation.

Methods: Between 2010 and 2020, children with presumptive diagnosis of malrotation were included. The demographic features, clinical and radiological findings, operative findings and outcome were recorded. The upper gastrointestinal series (UGIS) were evaluated by two radiologists. All parameters were correlated with surgical findings to evaluate the predictability.

Results: Seventy patients were included. The presenting symptom was bilious vomiting in 29 cases (41.4%), and atypical symptoms (non-bilious vomiting, food refusal, etc.) in 40 cases (57%). One of the cases (1.6%) was asymptomatic and diagnosed incidentally during UGIS. 52 cases had abdominal X-ray and 14 (26.9%) of them were normal. Doppler ultrasonography (US) (n=20) revealed evidence of malrotation in 13 cases (65%). The location of duodenojejunal junction (DJJ) in UGIS was compatible with malrotation in 33 cases. 48 (61%) cases underwent surgical exploration; 35 cases had malrotation and seven cases had midgut volvulus. Median followup time was one year (0.5-7 years). Volvulus has recurred in one case and another case operated for volvulus died because of short bowel syndrome. The statistical analysis for predictability revealed that bilious vomiting (sensitivity: 57.1%, specificity: 82.1%), Doppler US (sensitivity: 92.3%, specificity: 75%) and right-sided DJJ in UGIS (sensitivity: 96.8%, specificity: 75%) have highest predictability.

Conclusions: The bilious vomiting, Doppler US findings and right-sided DJJ have the highest predictability to confirm the diagnosis. However, presenting with atypical symptoms and having atypical or normal findings in UGIS do not rule out malrotation.

Keywords: bilious vomiting; duodenojejunal junction; malrotation; treitz ligament.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Volvulus* / complications
  • Intestinal Volvulus* / diagnostic imaging
  • Intestinal Volvulus* / surgery
  • Radiography, Abdominal / adverse effects
  • Ultrasonography
  • Vomiting / etiology