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Errors in the MDCT Diagnosis of Intestinal Ischemia and Infarction

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The diagnosis of vascular intestinal disorders continues to pose a crucial challenge in the evaluation of computed tomography (CT) scans in patients with acute abdominal syndrome. The ability to distinguish between and correctly interpret the related findings of ischemia (a potentially reversible event) and infarction (a non-reversible event, with inevitable death of the involved bowel segment) is the first step in a correct diagnostic workup and image analysis. In fact, ischemia and infarction indicate different stages of an injury caused by interruption of the blood supply to the tissue [1, 2]. Three main conditions underlie an intestinal ischemic event: (1) a deficiency in the arterial blood supply, mainly related to embolism or thrombosis (splanchnic); (2) impaired venous drainage (post-splanchnic); (3) decreased mesenteric blood flow (the “low-flow” state) due, for example, to cardiac failure, myocardial infarction, bleeding, hypovolemia (pre-splanchnic) [24].


  • Bowel Wall
  • Compute Tomography Finding
  • Intestinal Ischemia
  • Ischemic Disease
  • Mesenteric Venous Thrombosis

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© 2012 Springer-Verlag Italia

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Romano, S., Ponticiello, G., Russo, G. (2012). Errors in the MDCT Diagnosis of Intestinal Ischemia and Infarction. In: Romano, L., Pinto, A. (eds) Errors in Radiology. Springer, Milano.

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