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GASTROINTESTINAL Table of Contents   
Year : 2006  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 469-471
Para duodenal hernias- a pictorial essay

Dept of Radiology, Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences, Amrita Lane, Elamakkara P.O, Kochi-682026, India

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Date of Submission26-Jul-2006
Date of Acceptance20-Oct-2006

How to cite this article:
Dayananda L, Sreekumar K P, Moorthy S, Prabhu N K. Para duodenal hernias- a pictorial essay. Indian J Radiol Imaging 2006;16:469-71

How to cite this URL:
Dayananda L, Sreekumar K P, Moorthy S, Prabhu N K. Para duodenal hernias- a pictorial essay. Indian J Radiol Imaging [serial online] 2006 [cited 2021 Feb 25];16:469-71. Available from:

   Introduction Top

Intestinal obstruction is a common clinical condition that is usually suspected on the basis of clinical signs and patient history. For many decades, evaluation was based on findings at conventional radiography, with a sensitivity of 69% and a specificity of 57% [1]. Several studies have demonstrated the value of CT in confirming the diagnosis and revealing the cause of small bowel obstruction, with a sensitivity of 94%-100% and an accuracy of 90%-95% [1],[2]. Internal hernias are rare cause for intestinal obstruction. Para duodenal hernias constitute approximately 53% of all internal hernias [3],[4]. These rare hernias have unique radiological finding which allow definitive diagnosis to be made. In this article we will review relevant anatomy of the peritoneal cavity and characteristic CT appearance of para duodenal hernias.

   Discussion Top

Para duodenal hernias are the most common type of internal abdominal hernias accounting for half of reported cases [3],[4]. They are basically congenital in origin representing entrapment of small intestine beneath the mesentery of colon probably occurring due to abnormal embryologic rotation of midgut and variation in peritoneal fixation and vascular folds. Para duodenal hernias occur more commonly on the left side [3],[4].

   Clinical features Top

The clinical manifestation of para duodenal hernias can be quite variable varying from mild abdominal cramps or occasional vomiting to acute intestinal obstruction. Postprandial pain with postural variation is a characteristic symptom. Inferior mesenteric vein compression in left para duodenal hernias may lead to hemorrhoids [3].

Anatomic considerations

Left para duodenal hernias [Figure - 1]a and b

The left Para duodenal fossa of Landzert present in 2% of autopsy cases is situated to the left of ascending or fourth part of the duodenum and is caused by the raising up of a peritoneal fold by the inferior mesenteric vein as it runs along the lateral side of fossa and then above it [3]. Small intestine may herniate through the orifice posteriorly and downward to the left, lateral to the ascending limb of duodenum extending into descending mesocolon and left part of the transverse mesocolon. The free edge of hernia thus contains the inferior mesenteric vein and ascending left colic artery [3].

Right para duodenal hernias [Figure - 2]

The right para duodenal fossa of Waldeyer is present in 1% of autopsy cases [3]. It is situated within the first part of mesentery of jejunum, immediately behind the superior mesenteric artery and inferior to transverse duodenum [3]. The fossa orifice looks to the left, its blind extremity to right and downward, directly in front of posterior parietal peritoneum. Right para duodenal hernias represent an entrapment of small bowel behind the ascending mesocolon and right half of transverse mesocolon. The superior mesenteric artery and the right colic vein are in the free edge of the hernia.

Computed tomography of para duodenal hernias

Left para duodenal hernia [Figure - 3]:

The characteristic CT appearance consists of an abnormal cluster of dilated small bowel loops to the left of fourth part of duodenum extending into the descending mesocolon [4],[5],[6]. The mesenteric vessels supplying the affected loop can appear engorged. The Inferior mesenteric vein and the ascending left colic artery can be seen above the herniated loop along the anterior aspect. The transverse colon lies anterior to the hernial sac. Normal vascular relationship of Superior mesenteric artery and vein is usually maintained.

Right para duodenal hernia [Figure - 4]

The characteristic CT finding is an abnormal cluster of small bowel loops in the ascending mesocolon. The Superior mesenteric artery and the right colic vein are located in the anteromedial border of the encapsulated small bowel loops [4],[5],[6]. Bowing of the jejunal branches of Superior mesenteric artery and vein to right and posterior is a corroborative CT finding [Figure - 5]. The hepatic flexure of colon is seen anterior to the hernial sac. The normal relationship between Superior mesenteric artery and vein is maintained. When the herniation is superimposed on malrotation the normal relationship between Superior mesenteric artery and vein is lost.

   References Top

1.Maglinte DD, Gage SN, Harmon BH, et al. Obstruction of the small intestine: accuracy and role of CT in diagnosis. Radiology 1993; 188:61-64.   Back to cited text no. 1  [PUBMED]  
2.Frager D, Madwid SW, Baer JW, et al. CT of small-bowel obstruction: value in establishing the diagnosis and determining the degree and cause. AJR Am J Roentgenol 1994; 162:37-41..  Back to cited text no. 2    
3.Mayers MA. Internal abdominal hernias. In: Mayers MA, ed. Dynamic radiology of the abdomen. 5th ed. New York, NY: Springer-Verlag, 2000; 711-748  Back to cited text no. 3    
4.Nobuyuki T, Takehiko G, Yoshimitsu O, Shuichi, CT of Internal Hernias. RadioGraphics 2005; 25:997-1015.  Back to cited text no. 4    
5.Okino Y, Kiyosue H, Mori H, et al. Root of the small-bowel mesentery: correlative anatomy and CT features of pathologic conditions. RadioGraphics 2001; 21:1475-1490.  Back to cited text no. 5  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]
6.Olazabal A, Guasch I, Casas D. CT diagnosis of nonobstructive left paraduodenal hernia. Clin Radiol 1992; 46:288-289.  Back to cited text no. 6  [PUBMED]  [FULLTEXT]

Correspondence Address:
L Dayananda
Department of Radiology. Amrita Lane, Elamakkara P.O, Cochin - 682 026, Kerala
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-3026.32248

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  [Figure - 1], [Figure - 2], [Figure - 3], [Figure - 4], [Figure - 5]

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