Other nonneoplastic

Topic Completed: 1 November 2013

Minor changes: 1 October 2020

Copyright: 2003-2021,, Inc.

PubMed Search: volvulus colon

Raul S. Gonzalez, M.D.
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Cite this page: Gonzalez R. Volvulus. website. Accessed January 22nd, 2021.
Definition / general
  • Complete twisting of loop of bowel around its mesenteric base of attachment, causing obstruction and infarction
  • Also called torsion (volvulus is a more specific term referring to gastrointestinal torsion)
  • Potentially due to adhesions from prior surgery
Clinical features
  • More common in men
  • Patients typically demonstrate abdominal pain, distension, hyperactive bowel sounds
  • High rate of mortality, particularly in older patients (Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci 2013;17:127)
Radiology description
  • Dilated loops of intestine
  • Volvulus may be visible on CT
Radiology images

Images hosted on other servers:

Volvulus as seen on CT

Case reports
  • 16 year old boy with sigmoid volvulus with an associated anomalous congenital band (Am Surg 2013;79:1140)
Gross description
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Colon may be ischemic or gangrenous
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