Pediatric Radiology

, Volume 44, Issue 4, pp 387–391 | Cite as

Utility of sonographic assessment of the position of the third part of the duodenum using water instillation in intestinal malrotation: a single-center retrospective audit

  • Iain Hennessey
  • Rebecca John
  • Roger Gent
  • Day Way GohEmail author
Original Article



Intestinal malrotation and particularly volvulus are potentially devastating conditions. Upper gastrointestinal (UGI) contrast studies have been considered the gold standard for diagnosis. However the use of ultrasonography (US) has been increasingly described. We describe a method for delineating the duodenal anatomy with US as a means to exclude malrotation.


To report our experience using US to assess intestinal rotation.

Materials and methods

We conducted a retrospective audit of US scans performed at a tertiary referral centre to exclude malrotation for paediatric surgery between 2008 and 2011.


One hundred thirty-nine infants were included, of whom 114 had a normal US scan. Of the 114, nine had subsequent upper gastrointestinal contrast studies that confirmed the initial results; there were no false-negatives. There were abnormal US scans in four infants associated with midgut volvulus and malrotation; there were no false-positives. The other 21 US scans were equivocal, and 11 of these had a confirmatory UGI contrast study; only one required surgery to correct malrotation.


US has been a safe and effective tool in the assessment of intestinal rotation at our institution. The main advantages of US imaging are its lack of ionising radiation and its rapid and accurate diagnosis of volvulus.


Malrotation Volvulus Ultrasound Upper gastrointestinal contrast study Infant 

Supplementary material


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Iain Hennessey
    • 1
  • Rebecca John
    • 1
  • Roger Gent
    • 2
  • Day Way Goh
    • 1
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Paediatric SurgeryWomen’s and Children’s HospitalAdelaideAustralia
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyWomen’s and Children’s HospitalAdelaideAustralia
  3. 3.University of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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