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Abnormalities of the Body

Situs inversus involves a mirrorimage reversal of the human body's asymmetric organs (1:307). In total situs inversus, the heart lies in the right side of the thorax (11:1032). Typically, the position of the cardiac chambers is reversed. In addition, the left lung has three lobes, while the right lung has two. The liver, stomach, and spleen also are transposed. The cecum occurs in the lower left quadrant; the hepatic flexure is located on the left, and the splenic flexure on the right. Each of these anomalies is accompanied by a complete reversal of all the asymmetric blood vessels (11:1032).

In partial situs inversus, organ reversal may only occur in the thorax and be limited to the cardiac chambers. It may also involve partial inversion of both the abdominal and/or thoracic organs (11:1032).

Complete situs inversus is a rare disorder. Its reported prevalence is between 1/25,000 and 1/8,000 (1:314). A review of records at the Mayo Clinic from 1910 through 1947 revealed 76 affected patients (0.005%) (11:1034). No apparent sex predilection has been reported.

Total situs inversus is thought to be inherited in an autosomal recessive fashion (1:314). Typically, it is asymptomatic and no treatment is necessary (11:1034).

The condition may only become hazardous to the patient if it remains unrecognized during abdominal and thoracic surgery.

Approximately 20%25% of patients have an immotile cilia syndrome (1:307). The defect results in a characteristic phenotype including bronchiectasis with chronic cough, rhinitis, sinusitus, male infertility due to sperm immotility, and variable impairment of female fertility (1:312).

Patients with situs inversus usually have a low incidence of other structural malformations (1:308). Some families, however, have had recurrence of the malformations that are often associated with partial situs inversus, such as congenital heart disease and polyasplenia, with both complete and...

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Abnormalities of the Body. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 10:13, November 30, 2015, from
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