Income disparities in nationwide outcomes of malrotation with midgut volvulus

Published:November 09, 2022DOI:



      Malrotation with midgut volvulus is a surgical emergency commonly encountered in pediatric surgical practice. Outcomes are excellent with timely diagnosis and treatment, but the development of bowel ischemia is associated with many negative consequences.


      The Nationwide Readmissions Database was used to identify patients 0–18 years (excluding newborns) with malrotation and midgut volvulus from 2010 to 2014. Demographics, procedures, and outcomes were compared by income group (highest quartile vs. lowest quartile) using standard statistical tests. Results were weighted for national estimates.


      Emergency surgery for midgut volvulus was performed in 572 patients. The majority (86%) underwent Ladd's procedure, while 14% required bowel resection and/or ostomy. Patients in the lowest income quartile were more likely to require bowel resection (18% vs. 8%, p = 0.03) or ostomy (9% vs. 2%, p = 0.015) compared to those in the highest income quartile. Low-income patients were more likely to experience prolonged hospital stay (8 [5-13] days vs. 6 [4-8] days, p<0.001) and experience complications including infections (19% vs. 5%, p = 0.002), endotracheal intubation (18% vs. 4%, p<0.001), and blood transfusions (13% vs. 3%, p = 0.003).


      Income disparity represents a major factor in surgical outcomes in children with midgut volvulus. A broad spectrum of clinical outcomes following surgery for midgut volvulus exists. Patients from lower-income communities are at significantly higher risk for numerous complications, negative outcomes, and higher resource utilization. These findings support additional investigations of practices to mitigate risk for low-income patients.

      Level of evidence

      Level III: Retrospective comparative study



      TPN (total parenteral nutrition), ED (emergency department), NRD (Nationwide Readmissions Database), HCUP (Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project)
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