Duodenal anomalies are defects in embryologic development and usually present as gastric outlet obstruction in infancy or early childhood. Occasionally, they remain asymptomatic until adulthood and, because they are unusual, may not be diagnosed.
Based on current experience and review of the literature, recognition of diagnosis and the preferred methods of treatment of duodenal anomalies can be recommended.
Retrospective study of congenital duodenal anomalies in adults.
Tertiary care university medical center.
Twenty-nine patients were observed and treated between 1983 and 1999 (19 women and 10 men; mean ± SD age, 52 ± 16 years). Twenty patients had duodenal webs, 7 had annular pancreata, and 2 had both. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and weight loss were predominant symptoms in all groups. Peptic ulceration occurred in 13 of 20 patients with webs but in none of those with annular pancreata or combined anomaly.
Main Outcome Measures
Surgical outcomes including postoperative complications, deaths, and resolution of preoperative symptoms.
The treatment for patients with duodenal webs was transduodenal web excision and duodenoplasty in 19 of 22. Patients with annular pancreata were treated by transection of the annulus and duodenoplasty (n = 4) and proximal duodenal bypass (n = 3). There were no operative deaths, but 44% of patients had some complications. No pancreatic fistulas occurred in patients who had division of an annular pancreas. Outcome was considered excellent or good in 17 of 20 patients with duodenal webs, 4 of 7 with annular pancreata, and 2 of 2 with the combined anomaly.
Duodenal anomalies are rare in adults. Duodenal webs are best managed by transduodenal excision and duodenoplasty. Annular pancreas is generally best treated by duodenal bypass to the distal duodenum or the jejunum. Annulus division can be carried out if the annulus is extramural, without duodenal stenosis, and if access to the pancreaticobiliary sphincters is necessary.