The pediatric gastrointestinal tract: ultrasound findings in acute diseases

Abstract

The study of the gastrointestinal tract by imaging, particularly using ultrasound, is a required instrument for diagnosis of acute and chronic gastrointestinal pathologies in pediatric age. Actually, ultrasound plays an increasing role in the evaluation of gastrointestinal tract in neonatal and pediatric patients because of their small body habitus and the presence of less fat tissue in the abdominal wall and peritoneal cavity. Ultrasound has certain advantages, thanks to the new wide-spectrum frequency probes able to assess a detailed study of the morphological aspects and functional characteristics of bowel loops, adding a new dimension to the imaging of this body system. In this paper, we review anatomy, ultrasound technique and sonographic findings of bowel pathology frequently encountered in neonatal and pediatric emergency setting.

Sommario

Lo studio ecografico dell’apparato gastrointestinale recentemente è diventato uno strumento indispensabile per la diagnosi di patologie gastrointestinali ad insorgenza acuta o con decorso cronico in età pediatrica. L’ecografia ha un ruolo crescente nello studio del tratto gastrointestinale e specie in ambito pediatrico e neonatale grazie al habitus dei piccoli pazienti ed alla scarsa presenza di adipe interposto. I trasduttori multi-frequenza di ultima generazione forniscono immagini dettagliate, di alta qualità, per lo studio morfologico e funzionale delle anse intestinali, configurando una nuova dimensione degli ultrasuoni nella diagnostica per immagini dell’apparato gastro-intestinale. In questo articolo descriviamo la tecnica di esame e gli aspetti ecografici caratteristici delle più comuni patologie ad insorgenza acuta del tratto gastrointestinale in epoca neonatale e pediatrica.

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Correspondence to Marco Di Serafino.

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Esposito, F., Di Serafino, M., Mercogliano, C. et al. The pediatric gastrointestinal tract: ultrasound findings in acute diseases. J Ultrasound 22, 409–422 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40477-018-00355-0

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Keywords

  • Ultrasonography
  • Pediatrics
  • Emergencies
  • Gastrointestinal diseases