DOI: 10.1093/bjs/znad258.317 ISSN:

1214 Wilkie's Syndrome - a Case Report

C Kirk, B Down, T Theivendrampillai, A Dawani
  • Surgery


Aortomesenteric duodenal compression syndrome (Wilkie’s syndrome) describes compression of the third duodenal segment between the superior mesenteric artery and aorta, causing upper gastrointestinal (UGI) obstruction. Wilkie’s syndrome typically presents with significant weight loss and features of UGI obstruction. It can initially be treated conservatively with decompression and appropriate re-feeding, but occasionally requires surgical correction.

In this presentation, we describe a case of Wilkie’s syndrome in a non-English speaking foreign national, disengaged from healthcare.

Case Presentation

A 47-year-old Romanian national presented with two months of severe epigastric pain, vomiting, inability to tolerate food intake and severe weight loss, with a background of five years of similar symptoms. On examination, the patient was tachycardic (130), severely dehydrated with skin tenting, and cachexic with a distended abdomen and palpable mass in the epigastrium. Computed tomography imaging was performed, excluding an obstructing malignancy, instead demonstrating significant stomach distension (∼50% of the peritoneal cavity), from Wilkie's Syndrome. The patient underwent oesophagogastroduodenoscopy which demonstrated oesophagitis, gastritis and a duodenal ulcer. Biopsies were negative for H pylori and malignancy.

Management involved nasogastric tube decompression, intravenous electrolyte collection, fluid resuscitation and high dose PPI. The patient was discharged on day 6 with planned follow-up in one month and assessment for requirement of surgical management for Wilkie’s syndrome.


We present a rare case of Wilkie’s syndrome and discuss conservative and surgical management. We also use this case of late presentation to highlight the challenges of management, and the importance of clearly communicated follow-up plans in vulnerable populations.

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