Author(s): Wiesner W, Mortel KJ, Glickman JN, Ji H, Ros PR
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to analyze the correlation between pneumatosis or portomesenteric venous gas, or both, the severity of mural involvement, and the clinical outcome in patients with small- or large-bowel ischemia. MATERIALS AND METHODS: CT scans of 23 consecutive patients presenting with pneumatosis or portomesenteric venous gas caused by bowel ischemia were reviewed. The presence and extent of both CT findings were compared with the clinical outcome in all patients and with the severity and extent of ischemic bowel wall damage as determined by surgery (15 patients), autopsy (three patients), or follow-up (five patients). RESULTS: Seven patients showed isolated pneumatosis, and 16 patients showed portomesenteric venous gas with or without pneumatosis (11 and five patients, respectively). Pneumatosis and portomesenteric venous gas were associated with transmural bowel infarction in 14 (78\%) of 18 patients and 13 (81\%) of 16 patients, respectively. Nine patients (56\%) with portomesenteric venous gas died. Of seven patients with infarction limited to one bowel segment (jejunum, ileum, or colon), only one patient (14\%) died, whereas of the 10 patients with infarction of two or three bowel segments, eight patients (80\%) died. CONCLUSION: CT findings of pneumatosis intestinalis and portomesenteric venous gas due to bowel ischemia do not generally allow prediction of transmural bowel infarction, because they may be observed in patients with only partial ischemic bowel wall damage. The clinical outcome of patients with bowel ischemia with these CT findings seems to depend mainly on the severity and extent of their underlying disease.
This article was published in AJR Am J Roentgenol
and referenced in Family Medicine & Medical Science Research