Imaging the Obstructed Bowel and Other Intestinal Emergencies
Nina E. Kottler, MD ; Diego A. Aguirre, MD ; Giovanna Casola, MD ; Claude B. Sirlin, MD
Acute abdominal pain due to gastrointestinal (GI) tract pathology is one of the most frequent causes of patient presentation to the emergency room. Rapid diagnosis is essential to expedite appropriate management. In recent years, computed tomography (CT) has emerged as the most accurate noninvasive imaging tool in this setting. Distinct advantages of CT are its ability to directly visualize bowel wall and surrounding structures. This review discusses the CT evaluation of bowel obstruction and other nontraumatic, emergent GI tract pathologies. Imaging strategies, CT findings, differential diagnosis, and identification of potential complications are stressed.