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Urgent contrast enhanced computed tomography in the diagnosis of acute bowel infarction
  1. L R Gellett,
  2. S R Harries,
  3. C A Roobottom
  1. Department of Clinical Imaging, Derriford Hospital, Plymouth, Devon, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr L R Gellett, Department of Radiology, Abdominal Division, Vancouver General Hospital, 899 West 12th Avenue, Vancouver, Canada V5Z 1M9;
 lauragellett{at}hotmail.com

Abstract

Bowel infarction commonly presents as an acute abdomen that rapidly progresses to severe shock. The diagnosis is often not clinically suspected. Three cases are described where the diagnosis was made during dynamic contrast enhanced computed tomography (CT), when gas was demonstrated in the portal venous system and liver. Two patients died during surgery, the third survived because of the prompt diagnosis made on CT, and subsequent surgical treatment. The radiological findings are reviewed.

  • bowel infarction
  • computed tomography
  • CT, computed tomography
  • WCC, white cell count
  • SMV, superior mesenteric vein
  • SMA, superior mesenteric artery

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