Medical Definition of Malrotation of the intestine

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Malrotation of the intestine: Failure of the intestine to rotate normally during the development of the embryo. One of the dangers of malrotation of the intestine is that the intestine may be obstructed by abnormal bands or twist on its own blood supply, a condition called volvulus. Malrotation of the intestine is usually not apparent until the intestine becomes obstructed or twisted, generally in infants or in early childhood. Symptoms at that time may include vomiting up bile (greenish-yellow digestive fluid), abdominal pain, drawing up the legs, distention (swelling) of the abdomen, and bloody stools. This situation is considered an emergency and calls for immediate surgery to salvage the intestine and save the child.

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Reviewed on 12/12/2018

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