Sigmoid volvulus

Case contributed by Dr Usama Ibrahim Khalifa


Abdominal pain and distension.

Patient Data

Age: 30 years
Gender: Male

Scout from CT study

The large bowel distended with a dilated loop pointing to the right upper quadrant.


Dilated air and fecal matter filled ascending, transverse and descending colon reaching ~ 9 cm in maximum diameter with the transitional zone at the sigmoid colon.  At this level there is a bird's beak appearance with swirling of the mesenteric vessels and related loops at that level, a collapsed rectum beyond, with no definite obstructing mass lesion.

Minimal free pelvic fluid.

Case Discussion

It is uncommon to detect sigmoid volvulus in such a young patient.

Rectal tube insertion is successful in treating 90% of cases.

It can lead to closed-loop obstruction, ischemia, perforation, and death. 

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Case information

rID: 62999
Published: 10th Sep 2018
Last edited: 14th Aug 2019
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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