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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 29

of 'Approach to acute abdominal pain in pregnant and postpartum women'

Cecal volvulus in a multiple-gestation pregnancy.
Chase DM, Sparks DA, Dawood MY, Perry E
Obstet Gynecol. 2009 Aug;114(2 Pt 2):475-7.
BACKGROUND: Intestinal obstruction during pregnancy is rare, with volvulus being responsible for about 25% of cases.
CASE: We present a case in which a woman in the 12th week of a twin gestation presented with abdominal pain and distension. She was initially diagnosed with an ileus, and radiological studies at the time were deferred. The patient's symptoms worsened, and eventually she was taken to surgery for a diagnostic laparoscopy, which revealed a cecal volvulus with ischemic changes. A right hemicolectomy with primary anastomosis was performed.
CONCLUSION: Volvulus in pregnancy carries a high mortality rate, often because diagnosis is delayed due to avoidance of radiography and because of similarity of symptoms to other clinical entities. A high index of suspicion for volvulus must be maintained when a pregnant patient presents with obstructive symptoms. Abdominal radiographs may be justified in aiding the diagnosis, and diagnostic laparoscopy is a viable alternative when the patient has an acute abdomen.
Department of Surgery, Western Reserve Care System/Northeast Ohio Universities College of Medicine, Youngstown, Ohio 44501, USA.