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J Pediatr Surg. 2010 Feb;45(2):438-42. doi: 10.1016/j.jpedsurg.2009.12.006.

Congenital and acquired mesocolic hernias presenting with small bowel obstruction in childhood and adolescence.

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Section of Pediatric Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine and Yale-New Haven Children Hospital, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.



The objective was to present a case series of pediatric patients presenting with small bowel obstruction secondary to both congenital and acquired internal mesocolic hernias, and the use of imaging technology in the management of this condition.


A retrospective review of patients treated at the Yale-New Haven Children's Hospital for small bowel obstruction from 1998 to 2008 (n = 6) who presented with acute small bowel obstruction secondary to internal mesocolic hernias was performed.


We present 6 patients with small bowel obstruction caused by congenital (n = 4) and acquired (n = 2) mesocolic hernias after previous surgery. The median age at presentation was 13 years. Small bowel obstruction with a mesocolic hernia was identified by preoperative abdominal computerized tomography in 3 patients (50%) and at operation in the others. The mean length of stay was 6 days, with no recurrent episodes in the follow-up period.


Small bowel obstruction secondary to mesocolic hernias, although rare, may be considered in the differential diagnosis of patients with history of malrotation or abdominal wall defects owing to their association with congenital mesenteric anomalies. This condition requires special attention from the clinician because of its catastrophic consequences. Imaging studies are an important asset because of the difficulty in making an accurate clinical diagnosis and the rarity of internal hernias.

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