Mimics of malrotation on pediatric upper gastrointestinal series: a pictorial review.

Year of Publication


Date Published

2018 Mar 03

ISSN Number



<p>Intestinal malrotation is a continuum of congenital anomalies due to lack of rotation or incomplete rotation of the fetal intestine around the superior mesenteric artery axis. The abnormal bowel fixation (by mesenteric bands) or absence of fixation of portions of the bowel increases the risk of bowel obstruction, acute or chronic volvulus, and bowel necrosis. The clinical presentation of patients with malrotation without, with intermittent, or with chronic volvulus can be problematic, with an important minority presenting late or having atypical or chronic symptoms, such as intermittent vomiting, abdominal pain, duodenal obstruction, or failure to thrive. The diagnosis is heavily reliant on imaging. Upper GI series remain the gold standard with the normal position of the duodenojejunal junction lateral to the left-sided pedicles of the vertebral body, at the level of the duodenal bulb on frontal views and posterior (retroperitoneal) on lateral views. However, a variety of conditions might influence the position of the duodenojejunal junction, potentially leading to a misdiagnosis of malrotation. Such conditions include improper technique, gastric over distension, splenomegaly, renal or retroperitoneal tumors, liver transplant, small bowel obstruction, the presence of properly or malpositioned enteric tubes, and scoliosis. All of these may cause the duodenojejunal junction to be displaced. We present a series of cases highlighting conditions that mimic malrotation without volvulus to increase the practicing radiologist awareness and help minimize interpretation errors.</p>



Alternate Title

Abdom Radiol (NY)




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