Portal Venous Air in an Adult Patient with Obstructive Small Bowel Volvulus

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Background:Diagnosis of small bowel volvulus is frequently delayed often resulting in bowel ischaemia and infarction and impairing clinical outcome. Instant and correct diagnosis and subsequent adequate surgery may improve the outcome.Methods:We describe a 19-year-old female with small bowel obstruction due to volvulus in whom the diagnosis was suspected based on the finding of air in the bowel wall and in the portal vein on a plain abdominal radiograph.Conclusions:Air, present in the portal vein and bowel wall on a plain abdominal X-ray, suggests bowel ischaemia or necrosis and that the need for laparotomy is urgent.

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