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Double-Bubble Effect

This x-ray shows the typical double-bubble effect seen with complete duodenal obstruction. The smaller bubble represents the proximal, dilated duodenum (open arrow); the larger bubble represents the stomach (closed arrow). This effect can be seen with duodenal atresia, duodenal web, annular pancreas, and preduodenal portal vein. Rarely, it can also be seen with complete duodenal obstruction resulting from Ladd bands in a patient with malrotation.

By permission of the publisher. From Langer J: Gastroenterology and Hepatology: Pediatric Gastrointestinal Problems . Edited by M Feldman (series editor) and PE Hyman. Philadelphia, Current Medicine, 1997.