Many patients with acute colitis present with abdominal pain or other nonspecific symptoms. In these patients, multidetector row CT is often used as the initial diagnostic test, which plays a pivotal role. This imaging technique can demonstrate inflammatory changes in the colonic wall, determine the extent of the disease, and detect the potential complications. In addition, multidetector row CT helps identify myriad extracolonic conditions that are responsible for the nonspecific symptoms should the patients have a cause of symptoms other than colitis. In most cases, the specific cause of colitis is determined on the basis of the results of clinical examination, laboratory tests, optical colonoscopy, and colonic biopsy. However, in equivocal cases or emergency situations, multidetector row CT findings help narrow the differential diagnosis. Many multidetector row CT features or patterns are helpful in distinguishing between the various types of colitis. They include the degree of wall thickening and colonic edema, the extent and location of the disease, extraluminal manifestations, and types of complication. Multidetector row CT has a critical role in determining the most appropriate therapeutic approach in a substantial number of cases.
KeywordsUlcerative Colitis Iodinate Contrast Material Colonic Wall Pseudomembranous Colitis Optical Colonoscopy
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