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Gastric volvulus in adults

Jon O Wee, MD
Section Editor
David I Soybel, MD
Deputy Editor
Wenliang Chen, MD, PhD


Gastric volvulus is characterized by rotation of the stomach along its long or short axis leading to variable degrees of gastric outlet obstruction, which may present acutely, or chronically. Rotation of the stomach more than 180° causes complete gastric outlet obstruction, and potentially strangulation of the stomach leading to ischemia, and potentially necrosis, perforation, and abdominal sepsis. Mortality related to acute gastric volvulus is high if unrecognized, underscoring the need for early diagnosis and treatment [1-4].

The classification, clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and treatment of gastric volvulus will be reviewed here. General considerations for gastric outlet obstruction are discussed elsewhere. (See "Gastric outlet obstruction in adults".)


Gastric volvulus is rare. The incidence peaks after the fifth decade with adults constituting 80 to 90 percent of cases [5]. No association with sex or race has been reported.

Risk factors — Risk factors for gastric volvulus in adults include the following [1]:

Age >50 years

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Literature review current through: Nov 2017. | This topic last updated: Apr 25, 2017.
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