, Volume 37, Issue 6, pp 813-817

Pneumatosis intestinalis in patients with Crohn's disease

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The prevalence, predictors, and significance of pneumatosis were determined in 50 patients with Crohn's disease who had abdominal CT scans to rule out abscess. The presence or absence of six CT descriptors and 17 clinical descriptors was documented. CT scans of a control group of 50 subjects without inflammatory bowel disease were also examined. Data was analyzed by two-sample t tests and Fisher's exact test. Pneumatosis was found in six of 50 patients with Crohn's disease and in none of the controls. Corticosteroid treatment was the single clinical variable relating significantly (P=0.025) to pneumatosis, although trends toward absence of resection, short duration of illness, and more severe anemia were also evident in this group. This study suggests that the presence of pneumatosis alone does not dictate a specific course of treatment, but when pneumatosis is present, careful monitoring is required and therapy is based on the overall clinical picture.