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Dolichocolon refers to an abnormally elongated redundant colon. It is considered a developmental variant.
The main symptoms and signs of dolichocolon are:
- abdominal pain
- abdominal distension
However, dolichocolon is a contentious entity, and some argue that it does not cause symptoms 2.
Colonic elongation in dolichocolon may affect the whole colon, however it is usually limited to a single segment. The most commonly affected segments are the descending and sigmoid colons. It is important to note that the segment is elongated but not dilated (the latter is referred to as a megacolon). The elongated, redundant portions of colon fold upon themselves, forming kinks, tortuosities and loops 1. There may also be associated dilatation of the affected segment.
Treatment and prognosis
Treatment is conservative, except in patients with refractory symptoms. Patients with sigmoid volvulus may undergo endoscopic detorsion.
History and etymology
The word δολιχός (dolichos) is the ancient Greek for 'long' 3.
- 1. Raahave D. Dolichocolon Revisited: An Inborn Anatomic Variant with Redundancies Causing Constipation and Volvulus. World J Gastrointest Surg. 2018;10(2):6-12. doi:10.4240/wjgs.v10.i2.6 - Pubmed
- 2. Chronic Constipation: A Review of the Evidence. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2005;2(3):123. doi:10.1038/ncpgasthep0125
- 3. James Diggle. The Cambridge Greek Lexicon. (2021) ISBN: 9781108836999 - Google Books