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Open Access Publications from the University of California

An Unlikely Cause of Abdominal Pain


Cecal bascule is a rare subtype of cecal volvulus where the cecum folds anterior to the ascending colon causing intestinal obstruction. It is a challenging diagnosis to make in the emergency department, as the mobile nature of the cecum leads to a great deal of variation in its clinical presentation. Our discussion of a 78-year-old female who presented with abdominal pain and was found to have a cecal bascule requiring right hemicolectomy, demonstrates how emergency physicians must expand their differential diagnosis for patients reporting signs of intestinal obstruction. Though cecal bascule does not present often, the need for early surgical intervention necessitates a high level of clinical suspicion to prevent life-threatening complications.

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