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 Table of Contents  
Year : 2022  |  Volume : 2  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 110-111

Wilkie's syndrome

Department of GI Sciences, Advanced Endoscopy and Liver Diseases, MGM Health Care, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Date of Submission20-Mar-2022
Date of Decision10-May-2022
Date of Acceptance15-May-2022
Date of Web Publication05-Jul-2022

Correspondence Address:
Arulprakash Sarangapani
MGM Health Care, Nelson Manickam Road, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ghep.ghep_10_22

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How to cite this article:
Sarangapani A, George TJ. Wilkie's syndrome. Gastroenterol Hepatol Endosc Pract 2022;2:110-1

How to cite this URL:
Sarangapani A, George TJ. Wilkie's syndrome. Gastroenterol Hepatol Endosc Pract [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Sep 30];2:110-1. Available from: http://www.ghepjournal.com/text.asp?2022/2/3/110/349943

A 12-year-old girl presented with a repeated history of persistent vomiting and upper abdomen pain for the past 6 months. She used to have severe abdomen discomfort after taking food and vomiting of food particles. She had significant weight loss. Being evaluated elsewhere and treated symptomatically, visited our clinic for evaluation. She underwent upper glycemic index endoscopy which showed a dilated duodenum. Computed tomography (CT) abdomen revealed distension of the proximal duodenum and compression of the third portion of the duodenum [Figure 1] between the aorta and the superior mesentery artery, with a measured aortomesenteric distance of 5 mm and an angle of 16.4°. These findings were consistent with superior mesenteric artery syndrome (Superior mesenteric artery [SMA] syndrome), also known as Wilkie's syndrome. She underwent laparoscopic duodenojejunostomy and was doing well on follow-up.
Figure 1: Contrast CT abdomen showing dilated duodenum with narrowing at the level of third part of duodenum. Aortomesenteric angle of the aortomesenteric distance of 5 mm and an angle of 16.4°. These findings were consistent with superior mesenteric artery syndrome (Wilkie's syndrome). CT: Computed tomography

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SMA syndrome is a rare cause of upper gastrointestinal obstruction. First, it was described by D. Wilke as chronic duodenal ileus in 1912,[1] also termed arteriomesenteric duodenal compression syndrome, the cast syndrome in history. It is caused by compression of the third part of the duodenum by the superior mesenteric artery or one of its branches anteriorly and aorta posteriorly leading to upper gastrointestinal obstruction of varying severity. This obstruction may be partial or complete, acute or chronic, and severity depends on the degree of obstruction. Short intestinal mesentery, anomalous SMA, high fixation of the duodenum, and weight loss (acute or chronic) are among the most common causes of this syndrome.[2] Anatomically, the SMA leaves the aorta at an acute angle that is sustained by adipose tissue, this tissue functions as a natural fatty cushion and prevents extrinsic compression. The estimated prevalence in the general population varies between 0.013% and 0.78%. It usually affects young adults and symptoms include abdomen pain, chronic vomiting, and weight loss. Diagnosis is with typical clinical features and contrast CT abdomen. The normal SMA-aorta angle of origin ranges between 20° and 70° whereas in Wilkie's syndrome it is very steep ranging from 6° to 15° consequently, a decrease in the aortomesenteric distance to <10 mm (usually ranging from 10 to 28 mm).[3]

Conservative therapy mainly consists of weight gain achieved orally or parenterally, with the aim of restituting the mesenteric fat pad and increasing the aortomesenteric angle. Duodenojejunostomy, the preferred surgical approach is reserved for patients with severe symptoms and failure of conservative treatment.

Declaration of patient consent

The authors certify that they have obtained all appropriate patient consent forms. In the form, the legal guardian has given his consent for images and other clinical information to be reported in the journal. The guardian understands that names and initials will not be published and due efforts will be made to conceal identity, but anonymity cannot be guaranteed.

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Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Wilkie, DP. Chronic duodenal ileus. Br J Surg 1921;9:204.  Back to cited text no. 1
Mathenge N, Osiro S, Rodriguez II, Salib C, Tubbs RS, Loukas M. Superior mesenteric artery syndrome and its associated gastrointestinal implications. Clin Anat 2014;27:1244-52.  Back to cited text no. 2
Merrett ND, Wilson RB, Cosman P, Biankin AV. Superior mesenteric artery syndrome: Diagnosis and treatment strategies. J Gastrointest Surg 2009;13:287-92.  Back to cited text no. 3


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