Acute Abdominal Pain and a Whirlpool Sign on Computed Tomography: A Case Report


North Florida


North Florida Regional Medical Center

Document Type

Case Report

Publication Date



mesenteric volvulus, malrotation, midgut volvulus, whirlpool sign, acute abdominal pain


Diagnosis | Digestive System Diseases | Emergency Medicine | Medicine and Health Sciences


INTRODUCTION: Mesenteric volvulus is a rare cause of abdominal pain and bowel obstruction in elderly patients. When a mesenteric volvulus occurs in adult patients, the symptoms are often non-specific, which contributes to delays in diagnosis.

CASE REPORT: We present a case of a 75-year-old female who presented with non-specific abdominal pain. The rare whirlpool sign on computed tomography identified a mesenteric volvulus as the cause of small bowel obstruction. She was taken to the operating room and, after successful resection of the small bowel, she recovered and ultimately was discharged home.

CONCLUSION: Early identification of a whirlpool sign and early surgical consultation are key to providing the best chance for salvage of ischemic small bowel due to mesenteric volvulus and to prevent a fatal outcome.

Publisher or Conference

Clinical Practice and Cases in Emergency Medicine