What Is the Utility of Ultrasound for Small Bowel Obstruction?

  • Lauren M. Westafer


Point-of-care ultrasound (POCUS) has not been widely adopted for the diagnosis of small bowel obstruction (SBO), yet this imaging modality has excellent sensitivity and specificity as a screening evaluation. POCUS performed by emergency physicians at the bedside can rule in and rule out SBO expediently, with a sensitivity of 93–97% (95% CI 89–99) and a specificity of 90–96% (95% CI 84–99). Additional imaging may be needed to identify the level and etiology of the obstruction.


Small bowel obstruction Ultrasound 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lauren M. Westafer
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Emergency Medicine, Baystate Medical Center/UMMSSpringfieldUSA

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