What is the global incidence of sigmoid and cecal volvulus?

Updated: Jul 24, 2020
  • Author: Scott C Thornton, MD; Chief Editor: John Geibel, MD, MSc, DSc, AGAF  more...
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Worldwide geographic variations in the incidence of sigmoid volvulus are well described. Much higher frequencies are reported in African, Asian, Middle Eastern, Eastern European, and South American countries. In all of these regions, the inhabitants consume a high-fiber diet, which is considered a predisposing factor for the development of sigmoid colon volvulus. In these endemic areas, patients are younger and predominantly male.

In the “volvulus belt” of Africa and the Middle East, nearly 50% of large-bowel obstructions are a result of volvulus, almost exclusively of the sigmoid colon. Cecal volvulus is much less common than sigmoid volvulus, accounting for 10-15% of all cases of volvulus and predominately affecting women in the sixth decade of life.

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