What does her upper GI show?
Our patient had a duodenal obstruction from superior mesenteric artery syndrome. She had compression of the third portion of the duodenum between the superior mesenteric artery and the aorta. The syndrome was first described in 1861 by Von Rokitansky. The incidence is reported to be 0.1-.3%
It can occur after scoliosis surgery, anorexia with weight loss, rapid growth in adolescence, or trauma.
The greatest barrier to making the diagnosis is not to think of it. Delay in diagnosis can result in malnutrition, electrolyte abnormalities, a duodenal bezoar or even gastric perforation. The symptoms are typically relieved when the patient is in the L lateral decubitus, prone or knee to chest position.
Surgical correction is recommended if conservative measures fail. The standard procedure is a duodenojejunostomy where an anastomosis is created between the duodenum and jejunum anterior to the superior mesenteric artery.
Our patient underwent a duodenojejunostomy which was complicated by a wound infection and contained duodenal leak. She recovered and is now able to eat whatever she wants without vomiting.
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Pottorf BJ, Husain FA, Hollis HW Jr, Lin E. Laparoscopic management of duodenal obstruction resulting from superior mesenteric artery syndrome. JAMA Surg. 2014 Dec. 149(12):1319-22.
Rokitansky C. Handbuch der Pathologischen Anotomie. Vienna: Branmiller and Siedel. 1842.