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Int J Colorectal Dis. 1995;10(4):216-21.

A peroperative comparison of Western and Oriental colonic anatomy and mesenteric attachments.

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Department of Endoscopy, St. Mark's Hospital, London, UK.


It has been suggested that the Oriental colon is easier to colonoscope than its Western counterpart. The aim of this study was to investigate possible differences in colonic anatomy between Western and Oriental patients that might explain this observation. Measurements of colonic length and mesenteric attachments were taken according to a set protocol from 115 Western (Caucasian) and 114 Oriental patients at laparotomy. Sigmoid adhesions were found more frequently in Western (17%) compared to Oriental (8%) patients, P = 0.047. A descending mesocolon of > or = 10 cm occurred in 10 (8%) Western patients but only 1 (0.9%) Oriental patient, P = 0.01. The splenic flexure was more frequently mobile in Western patients (20%) compared to Oriental (9%) patients, P = 0.016. In 29% - of Western patients the mid-transverse colon reached the symphysis pubis, or lower when pulled downwards in contrast to 10% of Oriental patients, P < 0.001. There was no significant difference in total colonic length comparing Western (median = 114 cm, range 68-159 cm) to Oriental (median = 111 cm, range 78-161 cm) patients. Western patients have a higher incidence of sigmoid colon adhesions and increased colonic mobility when compared to Orientals. These findings support the observation that colonoscopy is a more difficult procedure in Western patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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