Intestinal Obstruction

  • Jae Hoon Lim
Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


The diagnosis of bowel obstruction used to be made by means of clinical history, physical examination, plain abdominal radiography, and in particular multidetector CT scanning that is very useful in revealing the level and cause of obstruction. Sonography is less helpful than CT in patients with intestinal obstruction due to the presence of abundant gas in the intestinal tract, which prevents the satisfactory examination of the abdomen and the detection of adhesions, the most common cause of intestinal obstruction. However, when the obstructed bowel segments are dilated and filled with fluid, the dilated segments of the bowel loops are well demonstrated and the cause of obstruction can be demonstrated by sonography using fluid-filled bowel as a sonic window. Judicious use of sonography in evaluating patients with bowel obstruction may be helpful in confirmation of the presence of obstruction, in determination of the level of obstruction, and in identification of the cause of obstruction.


Bowel Obstruction Small Bowel Obstruction Bowel Loop Colon Obstruction Paralytic Ileus 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Radiology and Center for Imaging ScienceSamsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of MedicineSeoulKorea

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