Volvulus of the Sigmoid Colon Associated With Rectal Cancer: A Case Report

Seung-Hyun Lee, Byung-Kwon Ahn, Sung-Uhn Baek


Sigmoid volvulus is one of the three most common causes of acute colonic obstruction. Predisposing factors include chronic constipation, adhesion from a prior abdominal surgery, and megacolon. However, concomitant presentation of volvulus of the sigmoid colon and rectal cancer is extremely rare. We report a case of a 50-year-old woman with coexisting volvulus of the sigmoid colon and rectal cancer. The patient presented with abdominal distension and pain for 2 days. On computed tomography, the whole colon was dilated with gas and feces. A whirl sign with rotation of the inferior mesenteric vessel was identified. The rectum had irregular wall thickening. Colonoscopy showed a circumscribed, ulcerofungating mass approximately 6 cm from the anal verge. The sigmoid colon was obstructed at a point approximately 25 cm from the anal verge. The mucosa was hyperemic and edematous with the pathognomonic spiral pattern. Endoscopic reduction was not successful. On laparotomy, the sigmoid colon was rotated around its mesentery. It was severely distended with edematous, hyperemic serosa. A tumor of the rectum was identified in the mid-rectum. The patient underwent low anterior resection and protective ileostomy. Pathologic findings confirmed adenocarcinoma of the rectum. The postoperative course was complicated by an ileus, which was managed with conservative treatment.

Gastroenterol Res. 2015;8(1):160-162
doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.14740/gr619w


Intestinal volvulus; Sigmoid disease; Neoplasms; Rectum

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