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APSP J Case Rep. 2016 Jul-Aug; 7(3): 24.
Published online 2016 June 15. doi:  10.21699/ajcr.v7i3.435
PMCID: PMC4921221

Preduodenal Portal Vein with Situs Inversus Totalis causing Duodenal Obstruction


Congenital duodenal obstruction sometimes may be secondary to unusual entities like preduodenal portal vein (PDPV) the identification of which is very important to avoid inadvertent injury or incorrect surgery. A 6-day old neonate presented with congenital duodenal obstruction. Investigations revealed situs inversus totalis with many congenital cardiovascular anomalies. At operation preduodenal portal vein and malrotation were found. Correction of malrotation and bypass duodeno-duodenostomy were done.

Keywords: Duodenal atresia, Preduodenal portal vein, Situs inversus, Newborn


A 6-day-old preterm girl, weighing 1400 g, presented with bilious vomiting, dehydration, lethargy, and poor sucking. On examination, she was dehydrated with scaphoid abdomen. Other systemic examination was normal. Babygram showed dextrocardia, with liver on the left and reversal of stomach bubble. Ultrasonography (USG) of abdomen showed situs inversus totalis with duodenal atresia. Echocardiography findings were of dextrocardia, small atrial septal defect (ASD) with left to right shunt, atrial situs solitus, bilateral superior vena cava (SVC) and interrupted inferior vena cava (IVC) with azygous continuation into left SVC draining into dilated coronary sinus.

On exploration, there was dilated first part of the duodenum with portal vein compressing duodenum without intrinsic obstruction (Fig. 1). Associated malrotation of gut was also present along with situs inversus. Correction of malrotation with side-to-side duodeno-duodenostomy, bypassing preduodenal portal vein, was done. There was no associated duodenal web or atresia. Patient had an uneventful recovery and doing fine at follow-up.

figure ajcr-7-24.f1
Figure 1:Preduodenal portal vein.


Splenic malformation, cardiac defects, malrotation of gut and duodenal obstruction are known associations with situs inversus. Besides duodenal atresia, preduodenal portal vein (PDPV) may be the association or cause of duodenal obstruction.[1-4] The other common associations are cardiac anomalies and annular pancreas. [5-7] Congenital cardiac anomalies are present in about 5-10% of patients with situs inversus.[6]

PDPV is a rare anomaly in which the portal vein passes anterior to the duodenum rather than posteriorly, mostly seen in situs inversus. Isolated PDPV which may remain asymptomatic till adulthood is an incidental finding but rarely can cause duodenal obstruction.[2, 3] It is extremely important to be aware of variations in portal vein and mesenteric arteries and veins in situs inversus if surgical procedures are planned. The latter vessels are also useful as a marker for malrotation. Abdominal doppler ultrasound study may help diagnose these vascular anomalies.

Postnatal presentation may be indistinguishable from duodenal atresia but association of situs inversus should raise the suspicion. Intraoperatively if PDPV is seen it is mandatory to rule out intrinsic obstruction which is more common than PDPV itself causing obstruction. If PDPV is not causing obstruction, intraluminal web or duodenal atresia may be the cause of obstruction. However, if PDPV is the cause of obstruction, then duodeno-duodenostomy anterior to the portal vein is the procedure of choice.[5-7]


Source of Support: Nil

Conflict of Interest: None declared


1. Duncan ND, Trotman H, Seepersaud M, Dundas SE, Thame M, Antoine M. Obstruction of the duodenum by a preduodenal portal vein in situs inversus. West Ind Med J. 2007; 56:285-7. [PubMed]
2. LeWald LT. Complete transposition of the viscera: A report of twenty-nine cases, with remark on etiology. JAMA. 1925; 84:216-68.
3. Casey B. Genetics of human situs abnormalities. Am J Med Genet. 2001;101:356-8. [PubMed]
4. Lee SE, Kim HY, Jung SE, Lee SC, Park KW, Kim WK. Situs anomalies and gastrointestinal abnormalities. J Pediatr Surg. 2006;41:1237e42. [PubMed]
5. Sharma S, Rashid KA, Dube R, Malik GK, Tandon RK. Congenital duodenal obstruction with situs inversus totalis: report of a rare association and discussion. J Ind Assoc Pediatr Surg. 2008;13:77-8. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
6. Brown C, Numanoglu A, Rode H, Sidler D. Situs inversus abdominalis and duodenal atresia: a case report and review of the literature. S Afr J Surg. 2009;47:127-30. [PubMed]
7. Shankar R, Rao SP, Shetty KB. Duodenal atresia in association with situs inversus abdominus. J Indian Assoc Pediatr Surg. 2012;17:71-2. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from APSP Journal of Case Reports are provided here courtesy of The Association of Paediatric Surgeons of Pakistan