Intestinal malrotation is a major diagnostic challenge in children. Sometimes the prognostic significance of the findings from upper gastrointestinal tract examinations is unclear. In a series of 69 surgically proved cases, the authors studied the prevalence and clinical consequences of various radiographic patterns of malrotation and correlated surgical findings with the radiographic location of the duodenum and cecum. Seven patterns of duodenal malrotation were observed. Almost all children in the series had abnormalities of rotation or fixation of both the duodenum and colon, resulting in narrowing of the mesenteric base with potential for midgut volvulus. Of 69 patients, only one (1.4%) had an anatomically normal duodenum, and four (5.8%) had a surgically confirmed normal cecum fixed in the right lower quadrant. In the absence of a corkscrew or Z-shaped duodenum, patterns that usually indicate volvulus or obstructing Ladd bands, colon position had greater prognostic implication, especially when the cecum was situated in the right upper quadrant or left upper quadrant. These latter patterns were associated with the highest prevalence of volvulus.
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