Definition of Malrotation of the intestine

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.


Last Editorial Review: 3/19/2012

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