What is situs inversus totalis?

Situs inversus totalis, also known as situs inversus with detrocardia, is a condition describing the complete reversal of all internal (visceral) organs.

This condition occurs about once in every 5,000 births.

The liver, spleen, heart and lungs are in opposite places from where they commonly appear. The kidneys are not considered to be reversed because people typically have two symmetrically positioned kidneys.

Generally this condition does not pose complications because the organs are simply flipped. However, 3 percent of the people who have situs inversus totalis also have some form of congenital heart disease.

About 20 percent of patients with situs inversus totalis have Kartagener Syndrome. Besides suffering from situs inversus totalis, people with Kartagener Syndrome also suffer from abnormalities in the bronchioles of the lungs and male sterility.

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