Radiation Medicine

, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 113–118 | Cite as

Multidetector CT findings suggesting a perforation site in the gastrointestinal tract: analysis in surgically confirmed 155 patients

  • Masanori ImutaEmail author
  • Kazuo Awai
  • Yoshiharu Nakayama
  • Yuka Murata
  • Chiaki Asao
  • Tetsuya Matsukawa
  • Yasuyuki Yamashita



The aim of this study was to investigate how accurately we could diagnose the level of gastrointestinal (GI) tract perforation using multidetector computed tomography (MDCT).

Materials and methods

We reviewed 155 patients with surgically confirmed GI tract perforation. MDCT scans were obtained with eight-detector CT; 5 mm thick axial images and 2.5 mm thick coronal multiplanar reconstruction (MPR) images were generated for all patients. Contrast enhancement was performed in 44 of the 155 patients. Two board-certified radiologists reviewed the images for direct findings (free air, ruptured GI tract wall) and indirect findings (inflammatory changes, fluid collection, focal thickening of the GI tract wall) and attempted to identify the perforation site in each patient.


Free air was seen in more than 95% of the patients with perforation at sites other than the appendix; free air was seen in 44% of patients with appendicitis. On contrast-enhanced CT performed in 44 patients, rupture of the wall of the GI tract was directly visualized in 14 (32%) on axial images only and in 23 (52%) on axial or MPR images, respectively. The perforation site was correctly diagnosed in 90% of the patients when the radiologists referred to both direct and indirect findings.


MDCT was valuable for identifying the presence and level of GI tract perforation.

Key words

MDCT Perforation Gastrointestinal tract MPR 


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Copyright information

© Japan Radiological Society 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Masanori Imuta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazuo Awai
    • 1
  • Yoshiharu Nakayama
    • 1
  • Yuka Murata
    • 1
  • Chiaki Asao
    • 2
  • Tetsuya Matsukawa
    • 2
  • Yasuyuki Yamashita
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Graduate School of Medical SciencesKumamoto UniversityKumamotoJapan
  2. 2.Kumamoto Regional Medical CenterKumamotoJapan

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