Surgical Endoscopy

, Volume 24, Issue 11, pp 2681-2686

First online:

Noninvasive detection and mapping of intraabdominal adhesions: a review of the current literature

  • Nellie Bering ZintherAffiliated withSurgical Department, Horsens HospitalScientific Unit, Horsens Hospital Email author 
  • , Jens FedderAffiliated withScientific Unit, Horsens Hospital
  • , Hans Friis-AndersenAffiliated withSurgical Department, Horsens Hospital

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Adhesions are a well-known and very common complication to surgery. Their extent and severity varies according to type and number of surgeries, use of intraabdominal mesh, and presence of peritonitis. Adhesions cause increased morbidity and mortality, with subsequent socioeconomic consequences. This review aimed to identify existing literature on noninvasive radiologic techniques for identification of intraabdominal adhesions.


A structured literature search of medical databases was conducted. English literature published until September 2009 and relevant references were included and assessed.


The search identified transabdominal ultrasonography (TAU) and cine magnetic resonance imaging (cine MRI) as relevant tools matching the search criteria. In all, 12 publications concerning TAU and 4 publications concerning cine MRI were identified. All but one of these publications had the methodologic limitation of not being blinded, which influenced the final sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy.


Both TAU and cine MRI seem able to identify intraabdominal adhesions using visceral slide with accuracy of 76% to 92%. Unfortunately, the studies are biased by being nonblinded. Accordingly, a need exists for a systematic well-conducted double-blinded comparative study to validate these radiologic techniques.


Abdomen Adhesion Cine MRI Detection Ultrasonography Visceral slide