Morphometry of the adult sigmoid colon and relation to volvulus
H. Saidi, BSc. (Anat), MBChB, MMed, D. Anangwe, BSc. (Anat), J. Ogeng’o, BSc. (Anat), MBChB and K. Awori, MBChB, MMed, Department of Human Anatomy, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
Dr. H. Saidi, Department of Human Anatomy, College of Health Sciences, University of Nairobi, P.O. Box 30197-00100, Nairobi, Kenya
BACKGROUND: The sigmoid colon in Africans is commonly affected by volvulus formation. Anatomical characteristics of this part of the colon could provide some of the contributory explanations for male gender predisposition. METHOD: Ninety five sigmoid colons (fifty male subjects) were harvested at autopsy. The following measurements were made: length of the sigmoid colon, length of the mesocolon root, height of the mesocolon. The sigmoid length. mesocolic root length ratio and sigmoid length: mesocolic height ratios were also calculated. All means and ratios were compared for gender using the Student t-test. P < 0.05 was considered statistically significant. RESULTS: The mean sigmoid colon length was higher in males (36.9cm) than in females (32.6cm) (p=0.007). Most (41.7%) of the sigmoid colons measured 30-34.9cm long. Males had shorter mesocolon roots and longer mesocolon heights. CONCLUSION: The greater colon length and smaller mesocolic root lengths in males may be the anatomical basis for the higher incidence of sigmoid volvulus in males.